Jesse Lingard revealed his “strange” feeling coming off for Wayne Rooney’s 120th – and final – England appearance.
Manchester United midfielder Lingard was substituted in the 58th minute of England’s 3-0 win over the United States on Thursday, to be replaced by his former team-mate for club and country.
Rooney’s return gave the England camp a “big boost of confidence”, according to Lingard, who was left with mixed emotions after the match.
“It feels strange seeing him again,” he told Sky Sports. “He’s the same old Wayne I’ve known since when I was young.
“He’s vibrant, a goody guy, and he’s looked after all the young players.
Lingard, 25, said he plans to take 18-year-old Jadon Sancho under his wing at England.
The United midfielder is aware the impact Rooney’s tutelage had on his own career.
“He helped me a lot with my development when I was coming through, gave me pointers along the way,” Lingard said.
“It’s great to have a figure like that in the dressing room to help you out.
“It’s a sad goodbye but he left a lot of memories which we can take on.”
Delph’s plan: ‘We had two armbands’
Rooney gave a speech at the team hotel before the game, presenting debutants with their first England shirts.
But Fabian Delph started the match as captain, his first time as England skipper.
“It was quite emotional to be honest,” he said. “It will probably sink in later. As a child I always dreamed of representing my country but having the honour of captaining my country and leading the team out was probably the highlight of my career so far.
“It felt amazing, honestly it was the best feeling I’ve had in football. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”
The Manchester City midfielder handed over the armband when Rooney entered play in the second half, but he came up with a plan to ensure both players went home with a memento from the occasion.
“To be honest – we managed to get two armbands so we both got one,” he said. “Before the game he’d said he’d give it me at the end, which was a lovely touch from him, but then I said why don’t we get two.
“I’ll frame it, let my girls run about with it for a few days, then I’ll get it framed.”