Fans and pundits have been reacting to the news that Wayne Rooney will come out of international retirement to play for England in a friendly against the United States. And it's fair to say the reaction is decidedly mixed.
In what will be Rooney's 120th and final England appearance, The FA will honour his record-breaking international career by donating to The Wayne Rooney Foundation International.
After a distinguished Premier League career, Rooney has enjoyed great success in the MLS with D.C. United. He has scored 12 goals and recorded seven assists in his first 20 MLS appearances.
In a statement, Rooney said: “I am truly humbled and hugely excited to play for England at Wembley again. I would like to thank Gareth Southgate and The FA for inviting me back and helping to support my Foundation in the process.
“Playing for England was the greatest honor of my career – so winning my 120th, and final, cap will be a particularly special moment for me. It’s fitting that the match will be against the USA and I hope that both sets of fans enjoy the game.
“I have been hugely impressed with the progress of this young England team. I hope that whilst I am with the squad I can pass on some of my experience. Trying to help others is a particular focus of mine now through my Foundation. I was lucky to enjoy a long and successful career with a great many people helping me to achieve my dreams. The Foundation allows me to give something back to four charities, all of whom do hugely important work.”
Gareth Southgate said: “The connection between The FA and former England players is something that has always been very important to me. Acknowledging the Three Lions legacy has been a major part of our journey with this current group of young players and Wayne Rooney is a hugely significant part of that history.
“This tribute to Wayne is a unique opportunity that is befitting of our nation’s record goal-scorer. We’re fortunate that circumstances have allowed us to formally acknowledge Wayne’s immense contribution to England in front of the Wembley crowd and against apt opponents given the recent impact he has made in MLS.
“We all look forward to the occasion and lending support to a number of good causes through the Wayne Rooney Foundation.”
However, the move has not gone down well with everyone with some suggesting the game shouldn't even count on his international record.