LONDON: England captain Wayne Rooney has backed teenage Manchester United teammate Marcus Rashford to make an impact at the European championship finals starting in France next week.
“The way he’s performed to the end of the season has been incredible, really, for his age,” Rooney told a news conference after a training session on Wednesday.
“He showed what he can do in his first game for England,” added the 30-year-old, who made his England debut at 17 and will lead the side against Portugal in their final Euro 2016 warm-up at Wembley on Thursday. “His attitude is first class ... he could be a real positive for us.”
Rashford, 18, became the youngest player to score on his England debut in the 2-1 win over Australia at the Stadium of Light last Friday. The forward scored that goal 138 seconds into what was only his 19th professional match.
PODOLSKI FUMING OVER ‘MASCOT’ JIBE
ASCONA, SWITZERLAND: Germany veteran Lukas Podolski was left fuming on Wednesday having been dubbed the ‘mascot’ of Die Mannschaft in some quarters due to his dearth of recent appearances for the world champions.
Podolski, who turns 31 on Saturday, has made 127 appearance for Germany, scoring 48 goals, in more than a decade. But he was last a first-choice starter for Germany four years ago at Euro 2012 and only played in two group stage matches when Joachim Loew’s side won the 2014 World Cup.
The forward’s lack of game time in Germany’s famous white shirt has seen him dubbed ‘mascot’ on social media by some fans, a term he strenuously rejects.
“I think it’s totally disrespectful! I have played over 100 internationals and I don’t deserve (to be called) that,” he said on Wednesday.
“I can understand any discussion about me as a person, only ‘mascot’ has no part in that.”