Wayne Rooney Proud Of Players After Emotional England And France Tribute

Getty Images

Wayne Rooney praised both sets of players on an emotional evening at Wembley as England beat France 2-0 four days after the Paris terror attacks.

Pre-match tributes were paid to the 129 victims of Friday's coordinated terrorist assaults, including a rousing rendition of the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise."

When the match got underway, England was perhaps understandably sharper than its opponent, which spent much of Friday night inside the Stade de France with the Germany team after its previous friendly was targeted by three suicide bombers.

Rooney added a 51st goal to his record England haul early in the second half after Tottenham teenager Dele Alli marked his full international debut with a splendid opener.

"It was difficult night for everyone, I think – especially the French players and staff," Rooney told ITV. "To be involved in this occasion, especially for young players who were making their England debuts, was tough. They were excited, but it was a difficult game for them.

"I thought both teams handled it extremely well. The fans were brilliant and I'm sure this will get shown around the world – the unity between ourselves and France and football, which can help a lot of people. Football is a global game and, as [France coach] Didier Deschamps said yesterday — it's not about religion, it's not about race. Anyone can play the game of football. We need to stand tall together in these tough times."


>