Lineker backs Rooney appointment

28 August 2014 01:01

Gary Lineker has backed Roy Hodgson's decision to appoint Wayne Rooney as the new England captain.

Manchester United striker Rooney succeeds Steven Gerrard, who retired from international football after the World Cup, and was the outstanding candidate for the role.

Former England skipper Lineker, whose scored 48 goals in 80 international appearances, believes Rooney will be at the helm during a promising era for the Three Lions.

"Rooney is the obvious choice and it's a good appointment," Lineker told Press Association Sport.

"By and large Rooney is hugely motivated and has always given everything for his country.

"I'm sure he'll be absolutely thrilled and very proud. It's one of the best things that can happen to you as a footballer.

"It's great recognition for his efforts over many years. And he said it himself - to be considered a success he wants England to win something while he's captain.

"That will be difficult, but looking ahead to two to four years' time, because of the nucleus of young talent we've got, he could be the head of a successful side."

Lineker admits Hodgson had few alternatives to Rooney with Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart his closest rival for the captaincy relinquished by Gerrard.

"It's a squad that's very limited on experience and you need a player with experience to do the job," Lineker said.

"Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have finished now, so he's the only one who has been around and had that experience in the game at the top level.

"You could have gone for Joe Hart, but his time might come in the future."

Rooney's past disciplinary issues have been well documented, but Lineker is convinced the 28-year-old has matured.

"A lot of captains have had that (disciplinary problems) when they have a competitive nature like his, but he's tempered himself in recent years," Lineker said.

"He's not as fiery as he once was and tends to control himself much better than perhaps he did in his early years."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
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