A spokesperson for Wayne Rooney has played down the significance of reports the England captain was heavily intoxicated three days before the international friendly against Spain at Wembley.
Pictures have emerged of Rooney allegedly drunk at a wedding held at the national team’s hotel on Saturday night, 24 hours after the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Scotland and shortly before the clash with Julen Lopetegui’s powerhouse team in London, which, in the absence of the skipper, ended in a 2-2 draw.
England’s interim coach Gareth Southgate announced at a news conference on Monday the experienced forward would not start the friendly and he then returned to his club Manchester United, apparently to undergo assessment on a knee injury after sitting out training.
A report in The Sun newspaper suggesting Rooney joined a wedding party and became intoxicated has since called into question the motivation behind Southgate’s decision to omit the skipper.
A representative of the 31-year-old confirmed Rooney chose to interact with fellow guests at the luxury hotel and did not specifically deny the star striker, who has been struggling for form with club and country in recent seasons, had over indulged.
“Wayne, along with the rest of the England squad, was on a night off-duty,” a spokesperson for Rooney told Omnisport.
“Rather than going out, he chose to stay at the team hotel to relax and celebrate a fine England victory against Scotland.
“During the course of the evening he was approached by numerous fellow guests for autographs and pictures. As he has always been, Wayne was happy to sign, pose for photos and chat with guests.”
It remains to be seen if Rooney will be passed fit to be considered for selection when Arsenal visit Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday.