Wayne Rooney exclusive: England can match anyone at Euro 2016

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England captain Wayne Rooney speaks exclusively to Sky Sports

Wayne Rooney feels England have a squad capable of matching any side for the first time in his career having won 10 out of 10 in the European Qualifiers.

England head to France for Euro 2016 in confident mood after their 100 per cent success in qualifying Group E, and are up against Russia, Slovakia and Wales in the group stage in June.

Captain Rooney scored seven goals in the qualifying campaign, including a record-breaking 50th to take him above Sir Bobby Charlton in England's all-time goalscorer list.

Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli were on the scoresheet as England beat France at Wembley
Image: Rooney has 51 goals for England at the age of 30

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports' Nick Collins, Rooney says that while England's versatility and quality is clear to see, consistency will be key to any success.

"I feel we've got a very good squad. It's probably the first time I've felt the squad is capable in any given game of matching any team," he said.

"But obviously it's one thing having that, and another being able to do that consistently throughout a tournament.

Roy Hodgson announces his England squad ahead of Euro 2016 at a press conference at Wembley Stadium
Image: Roy Hodgson has announced his England squad ahead of Euro 2016

"We've got players who can play anywhere across that front line. Myself, Jamie Vardy, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge can play out wide too. It's always difficult for opponents as well.

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"You never know with the players we've got how well they can do. We've had a good European Qualifiers campaign, but we need to make sure that we don't slack, that we keep going and keep pushing forward, and give ourselves every possible chance."

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring their first goal
Image: Rooney has played much of the season with Manchester United in midfield

The Manchester United skipper's best position for England is highly-debated, and while Rooney wants to play as striker he is open to playing in different positions for his country.

Rooney on...

Rooney on...

England skipper speaks exclusively to Sky Sports about England's chances at Euro 2016

Rooney has been used both as a striker and as a central midfielder by United manager Louis van Gaal this season but it is understood Hodgson will use him on the left wing in a 4-3-3 system following conversations between the two.

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QUIZ: England squads

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Another option would be to use the 30-year-old at the top of a midfield diamond or as a No 10, where he has also been used by United this season, and Rooney feels he is suitable for a number of positions.

"As a player you are always adapting," said Rooney, who was speaking as part of a Home Nations and Republic of Ireland special, where captains Ashley Williams, Steven Davis and Robbie Keane will speak with Sky Sports.

"You adapt to your team-mates, you adapt to the different coaches you are working under. It depends what the coaches want from you.

England's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring his sides second goal of the match with team-mates during the international friendly match at Wembley Stadium
Image: The England captain is keen to be a leader for the younger players

"Throughout my career I've adapted to different situations and different teams I've played in, and I have no problem doing it. In football you need players who can play in different positions. I've always felt like I can play in different positions.

"But I've always believed I am capable of playing in different positions. I think you saw in World Cup 2006 with Owen Hargreaves, he was probably England's best player, purely for the fact he could play in different positions.

"To have players like that in your squad is really important. The good thing that Roy has now is that he can look at the opponents and pick a midfield which is best for beating the opponent. We haven't always had that.

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Roy Hodgson thinks Rooney is key for England but admits he doesn't have to pick him in the starting XI

"He could change the whole 11 if he had to now, and we would still have the chance of winning the game."

Rooney was made captain after the World Cup in 2014 following Steven Gerrard's international retirement, something he says he takes immense pride in.

With several young players coming through, including Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Marcus Rashford and John Stones, Rooney is keen to take on a leadership role, but not without the help of a small group of other senior team members.

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Former England defender Jamie Carragher thinks Rooney may have to play in midfield to make room for Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy

Rooney said: "I felt I was the natural successor to Steven as captain, and the manager did too. It's something I was delighted to do, and I want to do it to be successful as well.

"It's something I really take pride in and want to do to the best of my ability. I think the young lads in the squad, they've helped a lot, I feel it's an exciting time for English football with the squad we have.

"The manager involves me in a lot of decisions. Obviously there's myself, and then we've put a team together with a few of the other senior players.

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Paul Scholes evaluates England's chances at Euro 2016

"If decisions on behalf of the team need making, I will go to those players, talk through it and decide what is best for the team.

"But of course, you have to be a role model and ambassador for the country, and that's what I've tried to do to the best of my ability."

For more from Wayne Rooney, including his thoughts on the European Qualifers campaign, the extended interview will be shown throughout the day on Tuesday on Sky Sports News HQ

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