"Wayne and his team-mates never doubted him - I am not sure why people would doubt him", he said. It was about what seemed possible for every moment after that.
Reigning England player of the year Adam Lallana is out through injury and right-back Nathaniel Clyne is a doubt*, but Daniel Sturridge is available and Jordan Henderson - captain against Slovenia and Spain last year - is back available.
It would, of course, be harsh to lay the blame firmly at Rooney's door.
You could even argue that, given his obvious talent and general productivity for England, he is the unluckiest victim of the fact tournaments are mere vignettes in the sport.
Only goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who made 125 appearances from 1970 through 1990, has earned more England caps than Rooney.
It certainly affected his decisiveness in those tournaments.
"He is a defender who is very comfortable with the ball, he has already adjusted very well to a new club at Leicester, plays with composure and can defend the ball into the box, so this is a good chance to have a look at him". I believe now is the time to bow out.
And that is the problem with trying to fairly recognise and pay actual respect to his time with England.
Yet, despite being within touching distance of Peter Shilton's record 125-cap haul for England, Rooney has made a decision to walk away with what already is a remarkable record.More news: Look Out Apple: New Samsung Phone Wins High Praise
Charlton and Hurst won the World Cup with England in 1966, Captain Marvel's importance to England in the 1980s is often overlooked and Lineker did it on the biggest stage.
The endless will-he won't-he debates ahead of Gareth Southgate's squad announcements were taken care of on Wednesday afternoon.
This is again not Rooney's fault, just his misfortune, and the contradiction of it all.
Few would deny that England's loss is Everton's gain.
Rooney's England career began way back in February 2003.
The Premier League will enjoy a two-week break after just three matches as attention turns to global football and the small matter of reaching next summer's World Cup. Calls to hotels and mobile phones were being fielded from around the world, seeking the story of the Croxteth boy who played in an untamed style that had suddenly transformed him into a superstar.
Scores four goals at Euro 2004, but injures foot in quarterfinal loss to host Portugal.
Rooney dropped out of contention under Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate due to his failure to cement a regular place in the Manchester United team last season. "It's a pity he will miss the next World Cup for England", Eriksson told Sky Sports News. He was unable to match those individual displays at a major competition, despite playing three World Cups and two further Euro Championships.
Misses out on Euro 2008 as England finish third in their qualifying group behind Croatia and Russian Federation. England eliminated after losing 4-1 to Germany in the round of 16, with Rooney scoreless through the tournament.