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Wayne Rooney makes 100th England appearance, receives commemorative cap from Bobby Charlton

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LONDON — Wayne Rooney received his 100th England cap from fellow centurion Bobby Charlton before the captain's landmark appearance against Slovenia on Saturday.

The striker is the ninth England player to reach the milestone, but the youngest at 29.

The Manchester United captain carried one-year-old son Klay onto the Wembley Stadium pitch to cheers before being presented with the commemorative golden cap by Charlton, who scored an England-record 49 goals in 106 appearances.

Heading into Saturday's European Championship qualifier, Rooney was seven goals away from overtaking Charlton's goal record.

England's appearance record is held by Peter Shilton, the goalkeeper who was capped 125 times. David Beckham made a record 115 outfield appearances.

"I don't just want to be remembered as one of the players who gets 100 caps," Rooney recalled ahead of his 100th match. "I want to be successful and we haven't been successful. That's how teams and players get rated.

"I would say it hasn't always been great but it has always been magical playing for England."

PHOTO: England's Wayne Rooney, centre left receives his 100th cap from Sir Bobby Charlton before the team's Euro 2016 Group E qualifying soccer match against Slovenia at Wembley Stadium, London, England, Saturday Nov. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
England's Wayne Rooney, centre left receives his 100th cap from Sir Bobby Charlton before the team's Euro 2016 Group E qualifying soccer match against Slovenia at Wembley Stadium, London, England, Saturday Nov. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

But Rooney, who made his England debut against Australia in 2003, revealed that he came close to quitting the sport aged 14.

"I had stopped enjoying football," Rooney said, recalling how a coach made him "fall back in love with football."

Rooney succeeded Steven Gerrard as England captain in August, having despite a tempestuous relationship with fans and past concerns over his temperament.

Far more was expected of Rooney after announcing himself on the international scene with four goals at Euro 2004 as an 18-year-old forward.

But the 2006 World Cup campaign was remembered for his red card against Portugal, and he struggled four years later in South Africa.

Although Rooney broke his World Cup goal drought at his third competition in June, England went out in the group stage with only one point — leaving the country without a title since its only success at the 1966 World Cup.


Rob Harris can be followed at http://www.twitter.com/RobHarris

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