German forward Lukas Podolski, who received an emotional send-off during Germany’s friendly against England on Wednesday, believes that Wayne Rooney deserves a similar farewell from England.
After the Euro 2016, the former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski announced his retirement from international football. However, he was called up for a final game for his nation during the friendly between Germany and England on Wednesday at the Signal Iduna Park. In front of thousands of adoring fans, Podolski, who received his 130th cap for his side, scored a stunning goal to win the game 1-0 for the Germans in a fairy-tale finish to his international career.
The 31-year-old, who currently plays for Galatasaray in Turkey, feels that Wayne Rooney deserves a similar farewell from England.
“Of course, I hope so, because he is one of the greatest in England.
“I don’t know if it’s traditional in England to give someone a farewell game, but when I am England boss or the president I will say ‘Wayne, next week you’ve got a game!
“My last game, against a good team in a very nice stadium, I scored a goal and it was 1-0. It’s like a movie. Of course, it was the perfect end,” Podolski was quoted as saying by Skysports.
Since making his international debut for England in 2003, Wayne Rooney has made 119 appearances so far for the Three Lions – the second-most capped player for England after Peter Shilton. However, his career has been on the wane in the last couple of years. The 31-year-old, who has overtaken Bobby Charlton as the highest goalscorer for England, has previously expressed his desire to retire after the 2018 World Cup. But, it seems like he will find it hard to even make it to the squad for that tournament at the moment.
Since Gareth Southgate took over as the England manager, Rooney has lost his place as a regular in the starting lineup. His lack of playing time for Manchester United has hampered his international career, and Southgate had dropped him from the squad which was selected for the friendly against Germany and the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania. The England manager has stated that Rooney’s absence is not due to lack of fitness but because of more competition from younger players.
After the 1-0 loss against Germany, Southgate has spoken about the prospect of giving farewells to players who have more than 100 caps. He said, “I think people recognize those who have made 100 caps, we have always given presentations for that, and people acknowledge the contribution they’ve made.
“What we haven’t done, which maybe some other countries do, is evenings like this. I played in a game in Portugal where Luis Figo had a similar thing, but you can’t always predict when the end is coming for people,” reported Skysports.
Rooney has scored only two goals in his last 10 appearances for England, and with Southgate preferring the likes of Jermaine Defoe, who has been one of the most prolific English strikers in the league recently alongside Harry Kane, his chances of making a comeback to the side looks slim at the moment.
Image – Getty