Date: 16th April 2008 at 1:40pm
Written by:

The comedy that is the selection of the England captain still goes on. Capello seems reluctant to give Terry the armband (no surprises there) but did not decide whether Ferdinand or someone else would be his permanent captain.

Instead he’s talking about the future: he singled out Wayne Rooney as someone who could be skipper some years later.

‘I am undecided who will be captain for the next game and Wayne Rooney is very young but I believe in the future he could be captain of England one day,’ Capello said.

‘What are his qualities for the role? He is a leader, he is a good example on the pitch. Like I said, he is very young so we need to give him a bit more time to get some more experience and mature a bit.

‘But I do believe he could one day be captain. He is the most talented young English player and the good thing is he has still got a big margin of improvement ahead of him.’


I’ve been saying it for a long time now that Rooney has everything to become captain. Those ignorant ABUs who still harp on about him being irresponsible and hot-headed and indisclipined of course do not actually pay attention to what he does on the pitch.

On Sunday, I was impressed with him. After our equaliser, tension started to rise and tackles were flying in but he was first to drag his teammates away, trying to calm them down. He even managed to restrain Owen Hargreaves who looked to explode on one occasion. Looked very mature.

Another shining example is last season’s away game in Rome. We were a man down, German referee Fandel blew his whistle whenever a United player, especially Rooney, jumped for the ball and he gave free-kicks for Roma for no apparent reason. Yet there was Rooney who was sent of at Villarreal in 2005 for clapping Kim Milton Nielsen after the ref booked him: this time, you could not hear a word of complaint and he was always there to exert a calming influence on his teammates.

It was largely down to his efforts that United kept their shape and composure on that day and managed to come away with a respectable result that set us up nicely for that resounding 7-1 victory in the second leg.

Therefore, I agree with Capello. The England and United captains should be the same for the next 10 years: first Rio Ferdinand then, after 3-4 years, Wayne Rooney.