Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has been described as “an incredible player” by Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson ahead of the round of 16 clash between England and Iceland at Euro 2016.
The sides will meet in Nice on Monday, June 27th for a place in the quarter-finals. Rooney is set to become joint all-time record appearance maker for his country, equalling David Beckham’s record of 115 caps for England. That will be another honour to add to Rooney’s growing list, having already broken Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time top goalscorer record for England.
While Rooney is seen as one of England’s key players, it is widely accepted that Swansea City midfielder Sigurdsson is Iceland’s most talented footballer. The two Premier League stars will face off, with Sigurdsson as the fourth-highest goalscorer for his country, the minnows who have excited everyone at this summer’s tournament.
Speaking ahead of the match, Sigurdsson said Rooney “is an incredible player, especially with the amount of goals he has scored for England.”
“He is England’s all-time top goalscorer so he has been fantastic for his country and Man United. I don’t think anyone has got a bad word to say about him.”
Rooney has been primarily playing in midfield for both club and country in recent months, with his performances in the FA Cup Final and FA Cup Semi-Final particularly impressive. He has also been looking good in such a role for England during the group stage. Sigurdsson described one of Rooney’s key attributes as being “a very good passer of the ball” because “he can play in players from 60 or 70 yards with a quick pass over the top.”
“There is an incredible pressure on him to perform for England and he is one of the leaders of their team as one of the experienced players in the squad,” Sigurdsson continued.
Rooney is set to start in midfield again, as captain, and has spoken of his desire to win the tournament rather than simply reach the quarter-final. To do so, he will need to see his side, a young one led by him, beat an Iceland side that have defied the odds to reach this stage.