Wayne Rooney is determined to enjoy his final performance for England on Thursday after admitting it was not always fun to play for his country.
The former Manchester United and Three Lions captain is due to come on as a second-half substitute when Gareth Southgate's side play the United States at Wembley.
Rooney scored a record 53 goals in his first 119 international appearances as the spearhead of the so-called 'Golden Generation', which included the likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham and was criticised for failing to challenge at World Cups and European Championships.
Now 33, Rooney concedes that the pressure to succeed for England meant playing for his country was not always enjoyable – something he does not expect to be the case this week.
"There were maybe times when I didn't enjoy it as much as I should," he said on Tuesday. "That was down to the pressure I put on myself which, obviously when you're in that mode, you don't want to admit is there.
"I've stepped back from that now and can analyse it, and see it was there. It makes you try too hard, makes you anxious, so you don't enjoy it as much as you should. It affects your performance, because you play your best football and put in your best performances when you're enjoying playing. And I'm going to enjoy Thursday."
The decision to grant Rooney a farewell match has prompted criticism from some quarters, amid suggestions it is unfair on younger talent looking to establish their place in the side.
It was also suggested to Rooney that his decision to return was motivated partly by the furore following his last outing, in a 3-0 win over Scotland in November 2016, after which it was claimed he gatecrashed a wedding while drinking. He insisted on Tuesday he "never entered the wedding" and bristled at the suggestion it ended his England career.
However, he insists he would never have agreed to come back for the USA match if it meant he would break the all-time appearance record held by Peter Shilton, who won 125 caps.
"I haven't been in the squad since the Scotland game, partly through not playing for Manchester United and the second part through making the decision to retire from international football," Rooney said.
"Speaking to the FA, we felt it was right, this was the way the FA wanted to move forward. If this was the game where I was going to take the record off Peter Shilton, for instance, I would never have done that."
Rooney is uncertain how emotional the occasion will be, having fought back tears when he broke Bobby Charlton's scoring record after netting in a 2-0 win over Switzerland in September 2015.
"I'm not normally one who shows my emotions that way but when I scored the penalty against Switzerland it was hard to hold my emotions back," he said. "There will be emotions on the inside."
However, he says he remembers only too well the last time he cried: "It was on the plane, trying to get my four kids to go to sleep!"
23 de mayo 2019
|Halep closest to being WTA´s Nadal - Pliskova|
|Swansea´s James pulls out of Wales squad after father´s death|
|Notts sign India spinner Ashwin|
|Svitolina has no expectations for French Open|
|Sala voice message reveals reluctance over Cardiff move|
|Werner to Bayern? Leipzig´s Rangnick has doubts|
|Willian would be sad to see Hazard leave Chelsea|
|Real Madrid star Vinicius: It was a great year for me|
|Bucks boss Budenholzer baffled by Drake antics in Raptors series|
|Wacha struggles in Cardinals loss|
|Rakitic would ´love´ Griezmann at Barcelona|
|Kawhi Leonard ´feeling good´ ahead of Game 5 – Nurse|
|Socceroos include six debutants for South Korea friendly|
|Jorginho: I´d be surprised if Sarri left Chelsea|
|New York Red Bulls 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 2: Montero earns draw for visitors|
|Rudan to lead A-League newcomers Western United|
|Marta & Orlando Pride eyeing NWSL play-offs|
|Prince, Cecil Fielder amazed by Christian Yelich|
|Don´t be surprised if Durant joins Clippers – Perkins|
|Rudolph confirms five-year offer from Vikings|
|Yankees slugger Stanton shut down for 7-10 days|
|Cipriani named Premiership Player of the Season|
|Boxing set for Tokyo 2020 but AIBA faces suspension|
22 de mayo 2019
|Chelsea on the verge of ´great season´ under Sarri, insists Pedro|
|Halep unperturbed by French Open title challengers|
|Giannis makes NBA All-Defensive First Team|
|Cleveland, Kansas City to host future NFL Drafts|
|Leclerc keen to end drought at ´special´ Monaco GP|
|Wawrinka and Fucsovics upset in Geneva|
|Viviani concludes disappointing 2019 Giro bid|
|FIFA abandons plans for 48-team World Cup in Qatar|
|AFC Champions League Review: Guangzhou Evergrande squeeze through, Kashima Antlers´ title defence co|
|Sabalenka through on busy day in Strasbourg|
|Hamilton excused from media duties after Lauda´s death|
|Arsenal did not offer Ramsey new deal due to ´salary balance´ concerns|
|Hales hopes England door not closed, targets T20 World Cup|
|Ter Stegen out of Copa del Rey final|
|Ewan victory sees Demare nudge into Giro points lead|
|Khawaja sent for scans after blow to head|
|Diego Costa a doubt for start of Atletico´s pre-season with ligament sprain|
|Caballero commits to Chelsea for 2019-20|
|F1 Raceweek: Ricciardo or Red Bull to halt Mercedes? - Monaco GP in numbers|
|Deco: Valverde will be feeling heat at Barcelona after Liverpool loss|
|Caparros to be replaced as Sevilla coach but remain at the club|
|England have no margin for error at World Cup, warns Stokes|
|An iconic character - Villeneuve & Prince Albert remember Niki Lauda|
|Borussia Dortmund sign Leverkusen star Brandt|
|Rudi Garcia to leave Marseille|
|If my job depends on one game, I want to leave Chelsea immediately – Sarri|
|Sarri hopes Hazard stays at Chelsea but will respect any decision|
|NRL Opta facts: Retiring Cronk seeks 100th try|
|Trail Blazers give coach Terry Stotts multi-year extension|
|Guingamp and coach Gourvennec part ways following relegation|
|Coutinho returns to Barcelona training ahead of Copa del Rey final|
|Lam signs new long-term contract with Bristol|
|Aduriz agrees one-year Athletic extension|
|Those Star Wars writers might have been busy! Rodgers unhappy with Game of Thrones finale|
|He should have a statue in Perez´s garden – Real Madrid great lauds Zidane´s return|
|Gyan makes Ghana retirement U-turn after presidential request|
|49ers pass rusher Bosa tweaks hamstring|
|Kroos, Ter Stegen to miss Germany qualifiers|
|Archer brings X-factor to England attack – Root|
|Thorgan Hazard completes Borussia Dortmund move|
|Giannis not feeling pressure despite Raptors revival|
|Gundogan confident Man City will keep Sane despite Bayern links|
|Sterling wants to discuss tackling racism with FA and Premier League|
|Raptors´ VanVleet ends shooting slump after birth of second child|
|Pogba and Hazard to Real Madrid? It´s possible, says Varane|
|Plunkett hails ´special talent´ Archer|
|Solskjaer deserves patience at Manchester United - Van Persie|