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Rooney: I want to captain United and England

ESPN staff
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Wayne Rooney could succeed the departing Nemanja Vidic as United skipper next season © PA Photos
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Wayne Rooney has revealed his ambition to captain not just Manchester United but also England on a permanent basis.

With Nemanja Vidic leaving the club in the summer for Inter Milan, United manager David Moyes is set to name Rooney his new skipper next season.

The striker is also in contention to succeed Steven Gerrard - who could retire from international football following the World Cup - as England captain under Roy Hodgson.

Rooney has worn the England armband twice in his 89 caps, first in the 1-0 friendly defeat in Brazil in November 2009 and then the 5-0 World Cup qualifying win against San Marino at Wembley in October 2012. During that match he became England's fifth highest goalscorer of all time with his 30th and 31st international goals.

United's leaders

David Beckham captained England 24 times while at Manchester United © Getty Images
  • All in all there have been seven Manchester United players to have captained England:
  • Wayne Rooney - two times
  • Rio Ferdinand - seven times
  • David Beckham - 59 times (34 with Real Madrid, one with LA Galaxy)
  • Paul Ince - seven times (two with Liverpool, three with Inter Milan)
  • Bryan Robson - 65 times
  • Ray Wilkins - 10 times
  • Sir Bobby Charlton - three times

"I've captained a few times for United and if the manager wants me to be captain, I'd have no problem with that," Rooney told club magazine Inside United. "I'd grab it with both hands.

"It'd be a great honour to captain my country but, again, it's the manager's call and I'm sure he'll have a few contenders.

"You don't know what Steven is going to do in the summer, only he knows."

Were Moyes to hand him the armband, it would cap a remarkable turnaround for Rooney at United, considering he pushed for a summer exit to Chelsea having fallen out with Sir Alex Ferguson last season. But having committed his future to the club by signing a new five-year, £300,000-a-week deal, Rooney is primed to play a key role under Moyes.

It would also be a far cry from his early days for club and country, when he faced questions over his fiery temperament.

Along with David Beckham, Rooney is the most red carded player in England history, having been sent off twice. Rooney was first dismissed for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho during England's penalty shootout exit to Portugal at the 2006 World Cup.

His latest international red came in England's 2-2 draw against Montenegro in October 2011, which saw him miss the opening two games of Euro 2012.

Rooney has also been sent off three times for United - his first red came for sarcastically clapping the referee during the club's 0-0 Champions League draw with Villarreal in September 2005. He was then red carded for an elbow on Porto defender Pepe during the 2006 pre-season Amsterdam Tournament, which controversially saw him handed a three-match ban by the FA despite the match being a friendly. United have not played in the competition since.

In a 2-0 Premier League defeat to Fulham in March 2009, he was dismissed for a second bookable offence after throwing the ball away in frustration.

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