Thursday, 25 May 2017

Rooney left out of England squad to face Scotland, France

Rooney left out of England squad to face Scotland, France

England captain Wayne Rooney has been left out of manager Gareth Southgate’s 25-man squad for June’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland and the friendly against France.
Rooney is England’s top goal scorer, with 53 strikes to his name, and the national team’s most-capped outfield player having made 119 appearances since his senior debut in 2003.

The 31-year-old has previously confirmed his plan to retire from international football after the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
Rooney made a brief cameo in Manchester United’s Europa League final win over Ajax in Stockholm on Wednesday night, but was brought back down to earth with the news he has not been included in a 25-man party that will contest a World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park on June 10, followed by a friendly in Paris three days later.
The door is not closed on an international return for the forward, who had hoped to end his Three Lions career by leading his country in Russia next summer, but Southgate has placed him firmly behind Marcus Rashford, Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in the pecking order.
Elsewhere in the squad, there is a recall for goalkeeper Jack Butland, back after a year of injury trauma dating back to his previous England appearance in Germany, a first call-up for Tottenham Hotspur’s Kieran Trippier and nods for Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson and West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell.
“The Scotland game is one of football’s great fixtures,” Southgate told the Football Association’s official website. “We’re in a place in the group where a win can really put us in a very strong position, and that’s what we want to achieve.
“France is a great challenge for us. Our ambition with our friendly matches is to play the best possible teams – we’ve done that by playing Spain and Germany already. They’re teams we want to test ourselves against and these are great opportunities to learn and improve.
“A game away in the Stade de France will be a brilliant occasion for the players.”
Rooney has been quietly shunted down the Old Trafford pecking order and even a late-season return to the first-team picture, a result of injuries and fixture congestion at United more than a compelling upturn in form, has not persuaded Southgate.
Instead he has placed his faith in 19-year-old Rashford, who started for United against Ajax, and will not now link up with the under-21s for this summer’s European Championship.
Kane’s return also marks the first time Southgate has been able to select the Premier League Golden Boot winner, who has missed all six of the manager’s matches through injury.

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