Wayne Rooney hopes he will be the first of many England players to be honoured with an international send-off and believes Harry Kane could one-day sign off with his goal-scoring record.
The decision to bring Rooney back for a farewell appearance in the friendly against the United States at Wembley on Thursday night has split opinion.
A host of former internationals, including Peter Shilton, Paul Ince and Stuart Pearce, have claimed Rooney’s substitute appearance cheapens the honour of winning an England cap.
But Rooney defended his recall for his 120th and final cap by saying: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, the most important thing is the FA thought it was right and the players we have spoken to agree, and as a country we haven’t done this before.”
Rooney is England’s record scorer with 53 goals, while Kane has netted 19 times for his country and the former Manchester United man added: “This is the first time this [a farewell] has happened and I hope in 10 or 15 years we are sat here for a Harry Kane, who could possibly go on and get the goal-scoring record. I’m not asking people to agree with it. What’s important as well is that money will be raised for the children and my foundation.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but whether they agree or not it’s something which is happening that the FA and other people think is right. Old players, particularly the World Cup winners, we all know they weren’t treated as well as they should have been. There is split opinion because this is the first one, but, hopefully, there will be a lot more.”
Kane has already confirmed he is prepared to pass over the captain’s armband to Rooney, who said: “Harry’s a great person and a great football player, and it was great to see him get the Golden Boot at the World Cup. I know how hard he works. If he hands it [the armband] over great, but the important thing is not whether I wear the armband, wear number 10 or play 90 minutes. The most important thing is to pull on the shirt again.”