Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham believes Wayne Rooney is the right man to lead England.
The Red Devils striker was handed the armband by Roy Hodgson after Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from international football. The Liverpool star had lead the Three Lions during the World Cup, where England were knocked out of the tournament from the group stages.
“He’s one of the most experienced players in the team now. Obviously there’s a few players who have stopped playing now so he is the most respected player in the team as well,” Beckham told Sky Sports.
“Young players will look up to Wayne for inspiration and he’s a player that wears his heart on his sleeve and that’s what playing for England is all about – It’s what being an England player is all about.”
“People want to see that passion. People want to see you fight for every ball and celebrate every goal that you score or every goal that you set up and that’s what Wayne’s all about,” he added.
England lost another long-term midfielder when former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard ended his international career after Brazil 2014. After their departures, Rooney is the most experienced player in a very inexperienced squad.
The Three Lions have Liverpool defender Glen Johnson, City midfielder James Milner and his club teammate Joe Hart as the other senior players in the squad after Rooney.
With Rooney closing in on his 100th cap for the national side, Hodgson believes United star is ready to take the responsibility to leading England from the front. The 28-year-old also captains his club after Louis van Gaal named him as the Red Devils’ captain.
Hodgson said Rooney was his first choice to succeed Gerrard as England’s captain.
“Wayne is an obvious choice for his honesty, commitment to the cause, his experience, the fact he has already captained England in the past,” Hodgson said in August.
“Now of course he’s got that responsibility at Manchester United as well. All those factors weighed into my thought process and I’m pleased to be able to say I’ve been able to offer it to him. I had a long conversation with him and he’s prepared to accept the pressures the England captaincy brings.”