Wayne Rooney returns to England squad for U.S. friendly at Wembley

Wayne Rooney applauds the England fans

Wayne Rooney is in line to make a sensational, one-off return to the England national team when the Three Lions take on United States of America at Wembley later this month.

Gareth Southgate has taken the surprise decision to recall Rooney, who retired from worldwide football a year ago, for the friendly fixture at Wembley on 15 November.

Rooney, 33, joined D.C. this summer after a glittering career with Manchester United and Everton, as well as on the worldwide stage with England.

He is not expected to start or captain the side against the US, but will be brought on as a substitute in a charity match arranged to raise funds for the Rooney Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged children.

Sources had told ESPN FC of the plans on Sunday, and later in the day the FA said in a statement: "England's fixture against the US is to be called The Wayne Rooney Foundation International in support of the legend's charitable interests". "I would like to thank Gareth Southgate and the Football Association for inviting me back and helping to support my foundation in the process", Rooney said in a statement.

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There is a school of thought that the FA do not allow England's greatest players a dignified exit from worldwide football but no-one can accuse them of not treating Rooney well. Playing for England has always been special to me.

The team went out on penalties to Columbus Crew.

Gareth Southgate phased Rooney out of his plans, leading to the striker's retirement, but the England manager is pleased to be welcoming the 33-year-old temporarily back into the fold. "Acknowledging the Three Lions legacy has been a major part of our journey with this current group of young players and Wayne Rooney is a hugely significant part of that history".

Southgate said: "This tribute to Wayne is a unique opportunity that is befitting of our nation's record goalscorer".

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