While Jamie Carragher is probably the exception rather than the rule when it comes down to players who prefer playing for their club rather than their country, it’s hard to imagine many of England’s squad are getting excited about Saturday’s game in Barcelona. Once again, there will be an eerie atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium for Fabio Capello’s first competitive game in charge, and some feisty tackles going in.
Setanta report that one player looking forward to resuming hostilities is Oscar Sonejee, the Andorran central defender who ‘enjoyed’ a set-to with Wayne Rooney when England last clashed with the European minnows. The Manchester United striker got teed off with the player’s attentions in March 2007, getting booked before being substituted.
“We were talking and he said, ‘I’m a star player’ and insulted me – and then I insulted him back,” revealed Sonejee.
“In his mind, he was thinking, ‘Who are Andorra? They have small players and are not professional’.
“Rooney was arrogant. When he plays Croatia, he’s probably not so arrogant.
“This match was a very hot situation and when Rooney talks, he’s very hot and very aggressive. He said things to me and I said them back.
“But I insulted him back in Spanish, so it’s possible he didn’t understand.
“I had a strong fight against Rooney last year. It was a battle.”
Indeed, it will be interesting to see whether Rooney and his team-mates can keep their cool in a match which they’re expected to win comfortably. After repeated warnings about his temperament, the United striker continues to throw tantrums with referees and swear a lot, will there be more of the same on Saturday night for the ‘star player’?