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Watford's Ighalo rejects Chinese offer

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Wayne Rooney named captain

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will captain England against San Marino in Friday night's World Cup qualifier at Wembley, the English Football Association confirmed Wednesday prior to the team press conference.

"It's a great honor, it's something I'm really proud of," Rooney said. "It's a big challenge for myself, I'm really looking forward to it and excited, and hopefully we can cap the day off with a good victory."

The 26-year-old inherited the armband due to regular captain Steven Gerrard's suspension following his sending-off in the last qualifier against Ukraine and because of a knee injury suffered by official vice-captain Frank Lampard.

Rooney and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart were the leading candidates for the honor. Rooney captained England just once before, in a friendly against Brazil in Doha in 2009.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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