Wayne Rooney hopes to be someone like the Manchester United legend Roy Keane as he captains England against San Marino tonight. Rooney will captain England for the first time as Steven Gerrard is suspended and Frank Lampard is injured.
Though Rooney believes more on doing things than discussing them, Rooney was not hesitant to talk about what his plans were as he will lead the Three Lions.
“Roy Keane, without a doubt, having played with him for a couple of years and seen how he played on the pitch and dealt with things off it,” Rooney said. “He was vocal on the pitch and helped me off it. He was a great captain.
“I was lucky enough to play with him and, hopefully, I can gain some of his qualities in my own game. I had a few rollickings off him and we had a few debates. We both wanted to win and sometimes, when you want to win, it’s not always about sitting down and talking quietly.
“You have a go at each other purely to try and get the best out of each other. If you saw the way he was with the other senior players, it was the same as with the younger players.
“He was not afraid to tell everybody how he felt and how he wanted them to perform. He treated everyone the same. He wanted to win and he wanted his team to win. That was a great quality.”
Rooney had played alongside Keane for just one season before he suddenly left United in the 2005-06 season. However, Rooney has great memories of that time.
“I respected him. He was one of the best players in Premier League and Manchester United history. He is the type of player I like – when he had a go at me, I wanted to show him what I could do. I wasn’t fearful. It was about desire and passion.
“I’m not going to change because I’ve got the armband. I’m quite vocal on the pitch. I speak to players and tend to play with determination, which I hope can lift the players and fans. I’ve always tried to help young players.
“It’s a great honour to captain the team and, hopefully, it will be a successful night for us.”
It is believed that Rooney will live up to the expectations and now will the peak of his international career begin.