Wayne Rooney understands why his global return has divided opinion, but England's all-time top scorer will not allow criticism to spoil an occasion he hopes will become the norm for future greats.
Wayne Rooney will make his final farewell as England's greatest ever goalscorer in a friendly against the United States on Thursday, but is excited at what a young squad can achieve under "fearless" coach Gareth Southgate in the years to come.
"This is the first time and I hope that in 10 or 15 years time we're sat here for someone, say Harry Kane, who could possibly go on and get the goalscoring record and it'll be something which will happen again".
"But sometimes you do put too much on yourself, which sometimes does affect your performances My time has been and gone".
"Whether people agree with it or not, it's something that's happening", he added.
Rooney returned from the USA to discover some observers, including plenty of former internationals from Peter Shilton to Stuart Pearce, questioning why a preparatory friendly three days before a Nations League match against Croatia is to be transformed into the Wayne Rooney Foundation International. He has not played for England since a 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley on November 11, 2016. What's important as well is that money will be raised for the children and my foundation. "We all felt it was the right time and the right game".
"Some good games, some bad games", he says.
"I've always been good nearly focusing on what my coaches want and what I feel I can give myself", added Rooney, who will address the players at some point in the coming days.
Speaking to reporters from England's St. George's Park training base on Tuesday, the current D.C. United striker believes this will be the ideal chance for him to say goodbye and he will wear the captains armband with pride if the opportunity arrives.
Reports suggest an extra 20,000 tickets have been sold for the match against the USMNT since Rooney's return was confirmed, but it does feel like having him on the pitch to collect some sort of trophy and then maybe going on a lap of honor before the game would have been more fitting.
"The most important thing is, speaking to the FA, we thought it was right, and the players I've spoken to think it's right", Rooney said.
Despite his impressive run in front of goal, Rooney has ruled out a temporary return to the Premier League during the Major League Soccer off-season.
With Southgate likely to shuffle his pack, Keane could be in line to play in Thursday's friendly clash with the United States.
This will be it as far as his career on English soil is concerned, whether the country's leading scorer comes on and scores a 10-minute hat-trick or barely touches the ball.
"I learnt a lot about myself, I'm probably mentally stronger and developed that thick skin because a lot gets said about you when things aren't going well". That's the story of my England career.
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