Gareth Southgate surprised by criticism of Wayne Rooney's recall in England football

Gareth Southgate surprised by criticism of Wayne Rooney's recall in England football

Gareth Southgate has defended the decision to meet Wayne Rooney against the USA next Thursday and said the record scorer deserves its toll, despite criticism that his presence is devaluing an international cap.

Rooney, who played the last of his 119 England internationals in November 2016, was joined on Thursday by a 28-man squad along with Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, who first received a call-up, and Everton defender Michael Keane named.

Southgate confirmed that Rooney would play in the Wembley team as a substitute, but would not wear the team or his usual No. 10 jersey. The England coach said he was surprised by the negative reaction to Roony's involvement, but cited the example of Lukas Podolski, who was similarly honored by Germany last year against Southgate.

"It's a shame, because we want it to be an appropriate tribute to a great player who is often undervalued, I think, in terms of his performance for England," he said.

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