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Darlow the hero for Newcastle

Newcastle
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Rooney: Terry is 'massive leader'

Wayne Rooney has backed John Terry as England captain, saying the Chelsea defender is a "massive leader".

• Johnson: Capello digs deeper hole
• Terry confirmed as captain
• Capello: Wilshere 'incredible'

Terry was reinstated as permanent captain on Saturday, coming 13 months since his removal due to his off-field antics. Fabio Capello insisted Terry has been punished enough for his indiscresions.

Rooney says he is content to see Terry take the armband back - even if it means his Manchester United colleague Rio Ferdinand has lost the job.

Capello's move to make Terry skipper once again has universally angered the English press, with back pages declaring a mutiny within the squad over the way Ferdinand has been treated. But Rooney, who also said he would like to be captain one day, paints a different picture.

"I have said many times that John Terry - even when he isn't the captain - is a massive leader for us," Rooney told the Sunday Mirror. "He has showed in the last year that you don't have to wear the armband to be a leader.

"For us as players it's down to the manager who he picks as captain. There is absolutely nothing we can do to influence Fabio Capello's decision. Rio Ferdinand isn't going to be fit anyway.

"He hasn't played for a while, so I don't think he will be in the squad for the Wales game. The manager has a decision to make."

Terry would have been captain at the World Cup in South Africa but for Terry's alleged relationship with Wayne Bridge's girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel. Rooney says that the issue, which led to Steven Gerrard wearing the armband with Ferdinand out injured, did not overshadow their campaign.

"I don't think the captaincy issue overshadowed the World Cup," he said. "Rio got injured, Steven Gerrard took over and did a good job. I hope the World Cup finals is out of the ­system now - it's definitely out of mine."

Although Rooney would one day like to skipper his country, he believes he is too young for the role at the moment.

"It's a massive thing to captain your country. I have done it once and it's something I will never forget.

"I don't really think about being captain on a permanent basis, but if I ever manage to do it, it would be a big honour.

"Right now I think I am way too young to do the job."

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