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Jose Mourinho: Wayne Rooney has been England’s best for a decade

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described Wayne Rooney as England’s best player and said that the striker has owned that status for more than a decade.

England will kick off their Euro 2016 campaign against Russia in Marseille on Saturday, but there has been much debate about Rooney’s position in the side in the build-up to the tournament — whether he plays as a striker, midfielder, No. 10, or is even dropped from the starting XI.

Rooney, 30, is looking forward to his 13th season as a United player and will be honoured with a testimonial against Everton at Old Trafford on Aug. 3 and Mourinho, who was appointed United manager on May 27, believes it is well deserved.

“Wayne is and has been England’s best player for over a decade and this game [the testimonial] will be a fitting tribute to everything he has achieved,” he said. “I’m looking forward to what will be a very special night for us both.”

Rooney has insisted that United will be the last Premier League club that he plays for, meaning that his testimonial will be played between the only two English clubs he will have represented in his career.

Proceeds from the testimonial match will be distributed, through the newly-launched Wayne Rooney Foundation, to four chosen charities, with an aim of raising £5 million for disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

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