England captain Wayne Rooney has hit back at claims from the Russian media claiming he is not the player he used to be.
The 30-year-old has changed his game as he’s aged and has played more of a midfield role for club and country this season.
Rooney is England’s all-time leading goalscorer and is comfortably the most experienced member of the squad with 111 caps for Roy Hodgson’s side.
Speaking about his role, the Englishman insists the adaptations he has made to his style have made him a better player.
“Everyone who watches football is entitled to opinions,” he said.
“I know the qualities I have and I don’t need to sit here and defend myself.
“I’m aware that my game has changed slightly over the years and in my opinion it has changed for the better, but the opinions that matter to me are those of my coaches.”
A knee injury in February put Rooney on the backfoot for the European tournament, but he has returned to the squad and his brilliant goal against Australia was the best way to silence his critics.
He’s an extremely versatile player and has often been played out of position to accommodate others, he has excelled in the middle of the park and it goes to show he’s willing to put the needs of the team above his own.
There’s no doubt he’ll help Hodgosn’s side at the Euros this summer, whether it’s ability to guide youngsters or his ability to bounce back and still score goals at the highest level, he’ll be looking to captain the team to success.