The England team during the 2006 World Cup

Wayne Rooney explains why England’s Golden Generation won nothing

Former England skipper Wayne Rooney believes that his teammates’ ‘fear’ was to blame for the Three Lions’ so-called Golden Generation’s failure to win a major trophy. 

A teenage Rooney burst onto the international scene with England prior to Euro 2004, when he quickly established himself in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad alongside the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, John Terry and Sol Campbell. 

But this Three Lions side was often less than the sum of its parts, with quarter-final exits coming at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, before the team failed to qualify for Euro 2008. 

Wayne Rooney was sent off against Portugal in the World Cup quarter-final in 2006

Wayne Rooney was sent off against Portugal in the World Cup quarter-final in 2006 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Rooney has reflected on his early days with the England set-up, admitting that while he revelled in turning out for the Three Lions, he was not sure his teammates felt the same way.



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