Where are they now? The England team on Wayne Rooney’s international debut

Quick Reads

Wayne Rooney has decided to call time on his international career in order to focus his efforts on producing his best form for Everton.

Over the course of 13 years Rooney won 119 caps for England and become his country’s record goalscorer with 52 goals.

And we’ve looked back at the England team – or rather two teams, given Sven Goran Eriksson made 11 changes at half-time – which took to the field for Rooney’s international debut, which came in a 3-1 defeat to Australia at Upton Park in February 2003.

David James

James had a somewhat nomadic playing career at club level, representing 10 different clubs, but was a regular in the England set-up, winning 53 caps .

The former goalkeeper is now a coach and pundit, with his last role as player-manager of Kerala Blasters FC in Indian Super League.

Gary Neville

Team-mates for seven years at Manchester United and four with England, only this week Neville was talking up Rooney’s chances with the national team, telling Sky Sports in his role as a pundit: “Rooney is fearless when it comes to big matches, he is fearless when it comes to big moments.”

Rio Ferdinand

Like Neville, Ferdinand was one of the mainstays of Rooney’s Manchester United and England careers.

Like Neville, he was also talking up a Three Lions recall for his former team-mate in his role as a pundit.

Sol Campbell

Campbell became more accustomed to facing Rooney as an opponent rather than a team-mate after being phased out of the England side following Euro 2004 at a time when Manchester United and Arsenal were regularly locked in fierce battles.

He is now known more for being a vocal Tory supporter than he is the assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team.

Ashley Cole

One of only three players on this list still playing professional football, Cole was England’s first-choice left-back throughout the majority of Rooney’s time in the national set-up, winning 107 caps.

In 2012 Rooney even said that he would “take a bullet” for Cole, who continues to play for LA Galaxy in the MLS.

David Beckham

To be honest, it’s hard to describe what Beckham does these days. Lots of charity works, lots of being one of the most recognisable faces on the planet.

Perhaps Rooney was thinking about his former captain’s words of advice when he decided to call it a day.

Frank Lampard

While playing together for England and being two of the main faces of the ‘Golden Generation’, Lampard and Rooney were often at the heart of the ferocious tussles between Chelsea and Manchester United over the last decade.

After hanging up his boots earlier this year, Lampard is now making a career out of being one of the most articulate pundits around.

Paul Scholes

Rooney had the pleasure of playing in front of Scholes for eight years at Manchester United, but they only overlapped in an England shirt for one year before the midfielder decided to focus on his club career.

Despite spending a career trying to stay out of the limelight, Scholes is among the long line of players to turn their hand to media duties.

Kieron Dyer

Dyer was one of a number of players who England hoped would be able to solve the problem position on the left wing, only for injuries to seriously curtail his career.

Still, he finished fourth the 2015 edition of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, donating his entire fee to charity.

James Beattie

We liked Beattie. We liked the way he turned his back on penalties before taken a swift run up and just smashing the ball into the back of the net. We like that he scored lots of goals for Southampton in the early-noughties. We don’t like that he got headbutted by a naked Tony Pulis at Stoke. Nobody deserves that.

Anyway, what we’re trying to say is that he is now one of Garry Monk’s trust lieutenants having followed the manager from Leeds to Middlesbrough to take up a coaching role.

QUIZ: Can you name the top goalscorers for these 25 European nations?

Michael Owen

Oh, what could have been. Euro 2004 offered a tantilising glimpse into what could have been a scarily good England strike force, only for injuries to both players to mean it never really happened.

As a former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United striker, Owen is now a pundit, obviously.

Subs

Paul Robinson

Robinson eventually became England’s No.1 and was the first-choice at the 2006 World Cup before falling completely out of the picture following the dismal Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

Remarkably he made a return to the Premier League with Burnley last season but called time on his career in the summer.

Danny Mills

Mills played largely second fiddle for England due to the dominance of Gary Neville at right-back but was first choice at the 2002 World Cup courtesy of the Manchester United man’s injury.

The former Leeds and Manchester City defender is now making a name as one of the grumpiest pundits around.

QUIZ: Can you name every member of England’s 2002 World Cup squad?

Wes Brown

After being relegated from the Championship with Blackburn Rovers last season, Brown enjoyed a summer holiday with Rooney before joining former Manchester Untied coach Rene Meulensteen at Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters

Ledley King

A player who would have been more than capable of challenging Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and John Terry for a starting spot in the centre of England’s defence were it not for injuries.

The Tottenham hero is now in the process of completing his coaches badges, with a role at Spurs sure to beckon.

Paul Konchesky

Konchesky won two caps for England but now finds himself playing non-league football at Billericay Town under an owner who has appointed himself manager and makes his players sing R Kelly in the dressing room as a motivational tool.

Owen Hargreaves

Another case of ‘what might have been’. Hargreaves was arguably England’s best player at the 2006 World Cup, but chronic injuries problems curtailed his career just as he began to establish himself in the starting XI.

Yes, he’s another pundit now.

Danny Murphy

Decent Premier League midfielder.

Pundit.

Jermaine Jenas

Decent Premier League midfielder.

Pundit.

Darius Vassell

Vassell’s England career would end as he replaced the injured Rooney and went on to miss the decisive spot-kick as England were knocked out of Euro 2004 by Portugal.

After retiring at the age of 32, Vassell is now throwing his support behind GCSportscare, a service set up by former Aston Villa defender Gary Charles which helps players deal with issues such as depression, alcohol or drug dependency, gambling, burn-out. low self esteem and relationship complications. Good man.

Francis Jeffers

Playing up front alongside Rooney in the second half, Jeffers scored England’s only goal in the 3-1 defeat.

A warning of what can happen to promising young players, Jeffers never fulfilled his potential but is now back at his first club, Everton, as a specialist striker coach in the academy.


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