Following speculation that England boss Fabio Capello would not include Wayne Rooney in his squad for the Euro 2012 tournament, it has today been announced that Capello has in fact picked the Manchester United striker to be a part of the national teams’ line-up.
Rooney became embroiled in controversy after being shown a red card in a qualifying match against Montenegro, with the FA taking the strictest actions possible, giving the 26-year-old a three match ban. This will mean that Rooney will miss the entirety of England’s group rounds and, given the national squads current poor form, could mean that he won’t make it to the pitch for the entirety of the tournament.
The Italian’s decision to take Rooney with him to Poland/Ukraine is likely to cause a stir, with many believing that this would have been a perfect opportunity to find young talent to fill the players’ well-worn boots. However, with Rooney being one of the only remaining bright sparks in what is left of the aging England team, his reasons for including him are unquestionable.
Speaking of his punishment publicly for the first time, Rooney said: "I am disappointed with it. I've got no excuse but I still feel the punishment is a bit harsh. All the details we have been waiting for came through so we will be making a decision as to whether we will be appealing.
"Obviously that is my own fault so I can't really complain. It will be a bonus if it is cut by one game. And I thank the Montenegro player [Dzudovic] who has sent an email to the FA saying that he felt the punishment was too harsh. He didn't have to do that."
"I regretted it as soon as I did it. I didn't set out to 'beat' him; it just happened. I just can't explain it but, obviously, it's devastating for me."
Although Rooney is set to travel with the rest of the squad to the tournament, Capello is still trying out a different attacking line-up in the upcoming friendlies against Spain and Sweden at Wembley. Speaking of his possible exclusion from the knockout stages, Rooney said: "I will understand if I am not in the squad, because I'll be missing out on those first three games at the minute and he has to look at other players – it is as simple as that. I want to play but I understand if I don't."
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