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 Rooney chats with Mourinho, embraces England duties

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PostSubject: Rooney chats with Mourinho, embraces England duties   2016-06-02, 13:07

England captain Wayne Rooney called Euro 2016 his "biggest test"
as an international player on Wednesday and revealed that he has
spoken to newly appointed Manchester United manager Jose
Mourinho.
Rooney's immediate focus is on leading England out against
Portugal at Wembley on Thursday in their final warm-up game
before Roy Hodgson's men head to France.
But with
Mourinho having
visited United's
training centre
for the first time
this week, there
was another
Portuguese on
the minds of the
journalists who
attended the
pre-match press
conference at
England's team
hotel in Watford,
north of London.
"Obviously I've spoken to him. It's exciting times for Manchester
United, and for myself and the other players," Rooney said when
asked about the new man in the Old Trafford hotseat.
"He's one of the best managers in the world and very successful,
so I'm looking forward to it."
Mourinho, who tried to sign Rooney during his second spell as
Chelsea manager, signed a three-year contract with United last
week as a replacement for the sacked Louis van Gaal.
Rooney will not play under Mourinho until United's pre-season tour
of China in July at the earliest and in the meantime, he has a sixth
major tournament with England to attend to.
The call-up awarded to Marcus Rashford, Rooney's precocious
United team-mate, has stirred memories of the former Everton
striker's own stunning emergence as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004
in Portugal.
Now 30, with 110 caps and a record 52 goals to his name, he is
the senior figure in the England set-up and is relishing the
challenge presented by his first tournament as captain.
- 'Injury-free' -
"I feel it's gone well. We were unbeaten in the qualifying campaign
and I've scored a lot of goals since I've been captain," Rooney said.
"But now is the big test. I think this is the biggest test now, going
into a tournament. We're away a long time as a group of players
and I need to be a good example to those players and hopefully
help us be successful.
"I don't think I have to look after them, but if I can set the right
example around the hotel or on the training pitch, then they will see
that.
"There's a lot of players going to their first tournament who won't
know what to expect. It is different to turning up every couple of
months and playing one or two games. So if I can try and give
them a bit of insight into that, then of course I will do that."
When England last played Portugal, in the quarter-finals of the 2006
World Cup in Germany, Rooney was sent off after planting his foot
into the nether regions of Ricardo Carvalho.
He had been rushed back after breaking his foot prior to the
tournament and has since become accustomed to going into
international competitions either nursing an ailment or, as before
Euro 2012, with a suspension to serve.
But having had two months' rest due to a knee injury sustained in
mid-February, he says that he has never felt better ahead of a
major assignment with England.
"It's certainly as good as I've felt going into a tournament and
that's largely because I'm injury-free," he said.
"In previous tournaments I've gone in and I've had little concerns,
which sometimes does play on you
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