The 31-year-old, following England’s 3-0 win over Scotland last Friday, visited a wedding taking place at the hotel where many players were celebrating. Onlookers described the captain as “s***faced” and “not a pretty sight.”
Gareth Southgate insisted the striker’s impromptu bender had nothing to do with his omission from the squad that took on Spain earlier this week.
Neville, speaking earlier this week, insisted that the whole situation has been blown way out of proportion.
“It’s embarrassing,” he said.
“Wayne Rooney shouldn’t have apologised. Or if he did his fellow teammates should have been with him!”
The widespread criticism aimed at the Englishman for having a few drinks on a Friday night has been decidedly ludicrous. More importantly, though, the outrage caused by the image of Rooney having a pint or four is indicative of an even more ludicrous attitude adopted by the English public in general.
It shows that, as a consumer audience, we see footballers – especially high-profile, internationally recognised players like Rooney – as somehow not human, but rather as untouchable, pious figures that do nothing except play football once or twice a week and return to their sterilised mansions.
We place footballers on a pantheon and expect them to be perfect role models – but why? Why should Rooney – or any footballer, for that matter – be prohibited from enjoying himself after a week’s work? Most of us, at the end of a long week, like to get a bit “s***faced” on Friday night. Why should Rooney be any different?