|Captain Wayne Rooney vows to make up for England woes|
12 October 2012
In the 2006 World Cup he was sent off during a quarter-final defeat against Portugal and four years later he failed to score in South Africa as England crashed out in dismal fashion in the last 16.
Rooney fared little better at this year’s European Championships and the 26-year-old acknowledges that, while Everton and now United have seen the best of him, the same can’t be said of his time with England.
“Am I unfulfilled at international level? That is fair. I haven’t been at my best for England and that is something I’m desperate to put right,” he said on Thursday.
“I think us as a team and as a country, we need to be more successful and better in tournament football.
“At club level I’ve won nine trophies and the only thing missing is being successful and to win things with England.
“That is what we are aiming to do. There are new coaching staff and a lot of young players have come into the squad and the future is bright for us.”
Rooney admits it didn’t help that he struggled to cope with the pressures of life in the public eye after first becoming an England regular.
But he has gradually got used to increased scrutiny that inevitably follows the country’s top players.
“From my point of view, the first few years were the hardest to live up in terms of expectations,” he said.
“The first few years are the most difficult part to adjust your life.
“Now I’m not too concerned about it. I don’t go out, I go to a restaurant with my wife and family and keep myself to myself.”
Although he is now a more mature figure, Rooney’s only previous experience of captaining England came in a friendly defeat against Brazil in Doha three years ago and he can’t wait to pull on the armband for the first time at Wembley.
“It is a great honour. I’m really proud and excited. It will be a big night for me and my family,” he added.
“It is a big challenge for myself. I don’t know what sort of captain I am and I already speak with all the players whether it is younger or older.
“But I will try and get the best out of myself and the other players, and hopefully they can get the best out of me.”
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