Wayne Rooney believes England captain Harry Kane will break his record and become the country’s leading goalscorer.
Rooney, 33, returned to make his 120th and final international appearance in a 3-0 friendly victory over the United States at Wembley on Thursday.
The DC United striker has scored 53 times for England – 34 more than Kane, who is eight years his junior.
“I look forward to presenting him with the trophy,” said Rooney.
Former Everton and Manchester United player Rooney made his England debut as a 17-year-old against Australia in 2003, and retired from international football in 2017.
But the Football Association saw Thursday’s match as an opportunity to “honour” his “record-breaking international career”.
Kane and FA chairman Greg Clarke made a presentation to Rooney before the game.
Rooney said: “I asked Harry to present me with the award because I believe he will beat my goalscoring record.
“It was great to be out there in front of the fans again and it was special for me and my family.”
Rooney farewell ‘a moment to savour’
A unique occasion almost included a fairytale farewell for Rooney.
When he found the ball at his feet on the edge of the box in injury time, the expectation was the net would bulge and he would run off in celebration with arms outstretched.
But his low strike was kept out by United States goalkeeper Brad Guzan, and the final whistle that soon followed brought down the curtain on his international career.
His selection had been criticised by – among others – England’s record appearance-maker Peter Shilton, who said caps should not be “given out like gifts”.
Rooney said: “If I had scored it would have opened a whole other debate about whether that goal should have counted or not, so it was probably a good thing I didn’t!”
Rooney had watched the first half from the bench, seeing former Manchester United team-mate Jesse Lingard and Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold put England in control.
He was given a rousing ovation by those at Wembley when he replaced Lingard, and the crowd screamed “shoot” every time he got on the ball.
The former Everton and Manchester United man found time to show touches of his class, with clever flicks and cross-field balls.
And he was on the field when Callum Wilson marked his England debut by netting the team’s third goal.
“Being back at Wembley, in front of the home fans… they gave me a great reception,” said Rooney. “It is a moment to savour. Everyone in the dressing room has enjoyed it.”
England manager Gareth Southgate added: “The players will have taken on board Wayne Rooney’s humility, even after everything he has given to the game.
“He mucked in during training and worked hard in the five-a-sides and in the game he was tracking back.”
Rooney’s pre-match chat with Sancho – what his team-mates said
Borussia Dortmund’s 18-year-old winger Jadon Sancho: “Playing with Wayne Rooney was really great – a dream come true for me. He’s a role model.
“I told Wayne that I was nervous in the dressing room. He came over and told me to be confident, that I had nothing to lose.
“I have to say thank you to him because without that advice I might have still been really nervous.”
Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold: “It’s been exciting, looking back on Wayne Rooney’s career. He was one of the best players for the country and it was good to share the pitch with him. As a local lad, it is good to show people in Liverpool that it is possible.
“He is someone I have seen when I was younger and tried to replicate. I want to be making the same amount of appearances for England as him.
“I have been watching Rooney from early on – he came on the scene from a seriously young age and he’s shown that from when he was young he was scoring goals, doing his job and worked really hard.”
Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy: “Wayne spoke to us at the hotel and gave the lads that were making their debut their shirts. It was a massive game that I wanted to be involved in.
“Wayne has had an unbelievable career and I thought it was a nice send-off for him. Everyone was over the moon for him.”
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