Wayne Rooney: England can do ‘magical things’ at Euro 2016


England players celebrate

England are capable of “magical things” after reaching the last 16 of Euro 2016, says captain Wayne Rooney.

Roy Hodgson’s side face Iceland in Nice on Monday (20:00 BST) after finishing runners-up in Group B behind Wales.

That puts them in the same half of the draw as Germany, Spain, Italy and hosts France, but Rooney feels the team can challenge for the title.

“We have five or six match-winners in our team and I cannot say we have always had that,” he said.

“We are here and we want to win it. We are not going to say that getting to the quarter-finals will be a sign of progress. I believe we are better than that.”

Wayne Rooney
When Rooney scored against Switzerland at Euro 2004, he was the youngest goalscorer at the tournament but the record lasted just four days

Euro 2016 is 30-year-old Rooney’s sixth major tournament.

In those six tournaments, England have won just one knockout game – against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup.

“Other tournaments have not gone great for me,” he said. “I have always held a lot of pressure, feeling I have to be the one who has to win games.

“But we now have a lot of players who can do that and I am happy to sit in the background. If I have to be the person to step up and win games, I will do that.”

Manchester United captain Rooney – England’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals – has found the net five times in three European Championships.

Rooney was one of six players rested for the group game against Slovakia.

The 0-0 draw meant England finished second in the group and in the bottom half of the knockout draw, which also features holders Spain, 2012 finalists Italy, world champions Germany and hosts France.

However, England face the lowest-ranked side Iceland in the last 16.

“If this was four years ago and you were saying you have to play France, Spain, Germany, you would have been worried,” said Rooney.

“I think the gap has changed. The gap to get to those teams is not as big.”


[Source  BBC]