Wayne Rooney will captain England against San Marino

Wayne Rooney 'excited' to become England captain

Wayne Rooney will captain England in Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino in front of a capacity 90,000 crowd at Wembley.

The Manchester United forward, 26, takes the role because of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard's respective absences through suspension and injury.

Rooney, who has won 76 caps, said: "This is something I'm really proud of.

"It's a big challenge for myself, and I'm excited. Hopefully we can cap the day off with a good victory."

Rooney is aware of the importance of putting on a good performance against a side ranked joint worst in the world, at 207th, alongside Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

"The players don't want to let the fans down," he continued.

"The fans, since I've been involved with England, have been fantastic. They follow us around the world. We're looking forward to the game and hopefully we can deliver for the fans."

Two goals for Rooney would lift him clear into fifth place on England's all-time goalscoring list, going past Sir Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer.

"People have mentioned I will get into the top five (goalscorers) if I get a couple more and that would be great," he added.

"Obviously, the result is more important but it's an opportunity for us to try and get a few goals."

England manager Roy Hodgson is similarly enthused by the sell-out crowd at Wembley.

"It shows the support there is for the national team football in this country, and how lucky we are to have an arena that takes 90,000 people," he said.

Hodgson did not appear overly concerned by San Marino, who have won only one and drawn five of their 114 internationals, conceding 473 goals.

He refused to say who is in the starting XI but did reveal that next week's trip to Warsaw will influence his selection.

"We have a very important [World Cup qualifying] game in Poland on Tuesday, so of course a lot of my thoughts are how best to use my squad," he added.

"I know whatever team I choose at Wembley is likely to win the game."

Rooney previously captained England in a 1-0 defeat by Brazil in November 2009 in place of the then injured and now retired John Terry.

Meanwhile, Hodgson said that although Ryan Bertrand should not have sworn on Twitter, it showed his heart was in the right place.

The Chelsea defender angrily contradicted the FA's suggestion he had been withdrawn from the squad because of a sore throat, but subsequently apologised for swearing on the social media site.

"What he was saying is quite laudable," said Hodgson.

"He really wants to play for England and is really angry it has been suggested it is merely a sore throat when he is actually quite ill. But he shouldn't use a swear word.

"He has already apologised for it but it goes to show what a problem we will all have with Twitter."


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