By Stephen Wood
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named the new captain of England on Thursday.
Rooney, who succeeds Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, will lead his country in a friendly against Norway on September 3 and their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland on September 8.
Coach Roy Hodgson made the announcement at a media conference at Wembley as he unveiled his squad for the forthcoming fixtures.
“I gave it a lot of thought but Wayne is an obvious choice,” Hodgson told reporters.
“He deserves it – his commitment to the cause, his experience. He has captained England in the past and, of course, he has that responsibility at Manchester United now.
“I’ve had a long conversation with him and he’s prepared to accept the pressures that the England captaincy brings. It’s important that the player wants to take on that enormous responsibility.”
After the announcement, Rooney tweeted: “Being named England captain is a dream and something I’ll take great pride in doing.
“As a kid I always loved the occasion of watching a big England game on the television. Back then I had a burning ambition to play for my country. Now to be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams.
“I would like to thank Roy and the coaching staff for having the belief and confidence in me to do the job.
“I hope I will have the full backing of the fans. I am their type of player once I am on that pitch. My only thought is to win and give everything I have got. Sharing that desire will be the way I want to captain the team.”