LONDON (AP) — England coach Gareth Southgate says the country needs to be better at honoring the contribution of its soccer stars in a defense of the decision to allow record-scorer Wayne Rooney to make a farewell appearance.
The 33-year-old striker will feature for a 120th England appearance during next Thursday’s friendly against the United States at Wembley Stadium despite retiring from international duty in August 2017.
After a career in England at Manchester United and Everton, the former England captain is now in Major League Soccer with D.C. United.
Recalling how Germany honored Lukas Podolski around a 2017 game against England, Southgate said “we were all struck by the fact that it was a good way to recognize someone who’s had a fantastic career for his country.”
Southgate added, “we’ve not been brilliant at that over the years.”