Wayne Rooney is determined to enjoy his final performance for England on Thursday after admitting it was not always fun to play for his country.
The former Manchester United and Three Lions captain is due to come on as a second-half substitute when Gareth Southgate's side play the United States at Wembley.
Rooney scored a record 53 goals in his first 119 international appearances as the spearhead of the so-called 'Golden Generation', which included the likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham and was criticised for failing to challenge at World Cups and European Championships.
Now 33, Rooney concedes that the pressure to succeed for England meant playing for his country was not always enjoyable – something he does not expect to be the case this week.
"There were maybe times when I didn't enjoy it as much as I should," he said on Tuesday. "That was down to the pressure I put on myself which, obviously when you're in that mode, you don't want to admit is there.
"I've stepped back from that now and can analyse it, and see it was there. It makes you try too hard, makes you anxious, so you don't enjoy it as much as you should. It affects your performance, because you play your best football and put in your best performances when you're enjoying playing. And I'm going to enjoy Thursday."
The decision to grant Rooney a farewell match has prompted criticism from some quarters, amid suggestions it is unfair on younger talent looking to establish their place in the side.
It was also suggested to Rooney that his decision to return was motivated partly by the furore following his last outing, in a 3-0 win over Scotland in November 2016, after which it was claimed he gatecrashed a wedding while drinking. He insisted on Tuesday he "never entered the wedding" and bristled at the suggestion it ended his England career.
However, he insists he would never have agreed to come back for the USA match if it meant he would break the all-time appearance record held by Peter Shilton, who won 125 caps.
"I haven't been in the squad since the Scotland game, partly through not playing for Manchester United and the second part through making the decision to retire from international football," Rooney said.
"Speaking to the FA, we felt it was right, this was the way the FA wanted to move forward. If this was the game where I was going to take the record off Peter Shilton, for instance, I would never have done that."
Rooney is uncertain how emotional the occasion will be, having fought back tears when he broke Bobby Charlton's scoring record after netting in a 2-0 win over Switzerland in September 2015.
"I'm not normally one who shows my emotions that way but when I scored the penalty against Switzerland it was hard to hold my emotions back," he said. "There will be emotions on the inside."
However, he says he remembers only too well the last time he cried: "It was on the plane, trying to get my four kids to go to sleep!"
15. Dezember 2018
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|ES Tunis 0 Al Ain 3: Convincing victory books River Plate semi|
|Championship Review: Bamford fires Leeds to summit, Middlesbrough defeated by QPR|
|Curry reacts to Kings´ trolling with moon landing video|
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|Pochettino reaches 100 Premier League wins for Tottenham faster than Wenger for Arsenal|
|Real Valladolid 2 Atletico Madrid 3: Griezmann the hero on landmark appearance|
|Silva rues Richarlison´s missed chances at City|
|Gibson has no worries over Proteas batsmen|
|Wolves 2 Bournemouth 0: Jimenez and Cavaleiro score against toothless Cherries|
|Crystal Palace 1 Leicester City 0: Captain Milivojevic earns vital victory|
|Watford 3 Cardiff City 2: Hornets hang on despite late fightback|
|Tottenham 1 Burnley 0: Eriksen snatches victory at the death|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1: Rondon strike settles scrap|
|Sabres suspend forward Berglund for failing to report to the team|
|Saunders thanks Fury for getting him ´back on the right track´|
|Hannover 0 Bayern Munich 4: Gnabry and Kimmich star in crushing win|
|I admire Sterling – Guardiola|
|City´s strength in depth makes it hard for me – Jesus|
|Jamieson holds slender lead in Malelane|
|Kashima Antlers 3 Guadalajara 2: Comeback win sets up Real Madrid semi-final|
|Hosszu claims fourth Hangzhou gold, Le Clos beaten by Santos|
|Manchester City 3 Everton 1: Jesus at the double as City go top|
|Parker defiant on low blow claims after ending 2018 ´with a bang´|
|Alisson: Liverpool must beat Manchester United|
|Mourinho´s brutal honesty praised by Karanka|
|Fielding inspired by Bellew after overcoming setbacks to face Canelo|
|Mourinho loves being a manager ´more than ever´|
|Khawaja unconcerned by poor start to India series|
|WATCH: Dellavedova dives into media table to rescue possession|
|Christmas form could transform Man United´s season - Rashford|
|Urgent changes needed at Manchester United – Ferdinand|
|Ishant confident as Kohli carries India into day three|
|Modric takes aim at Simeone for ´constantly undermining Real Madrid´|
|Kevin Durant provides playoffs warning to inconsistent Warriors|
|A-League Review: Janjetovic off as Wanderers suffer derby defeat|
|VanVleet turnover the ´turning point´ in Raptors loss|
|Shanahan on Mahomes no-look pass: ´I do it all the time´|
|De Bruyne and Aguero return to City bench, Sterling left out of starting XI|
|Kohli and Rahane combine to thwart Australia in Perth|
|Modric cool on Madrid future beyond current deal|
|´Fatigued´ Embiid has a lot on his shoulders - Brown|
|Crespo agrees to take charge at Banfield|
|Westbrook on Murray scuffle: He was in my way|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Van Dijk the rock on which Klopp can build a title triumph|
|Marcelo ´never´ considered Madrid exit amid Juventus links|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Resurgent Rashford now a leader for Mourinho|
|Injury-plagued Nuggets beat Thunder to hold Western Conference lead|
|Southee takes five as Sri Lanka recover in Wellington|
|Kings troll Curry by playing clips of moon landing|
|Guardiola: Premier League title race similar to Barca-Madrid battles|
|Ovechkin joins rare NHL club with second straight hat-trick|
|Liverpool can´t be judged just on trophies – Klopp responds to Mourinho|
|Athletics´ Chapman undergoes procedure on left shoulder|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid miss Ronaldo|
|Ronaldo right about Juventus team spirit – Allegri|
|Klopp: I´m not the pope of football tactics|
|Stade beat Ospreys on emotional Chauvin tribute night|
|Ligue 1 survival bid a marathon not a sprint for Monaco, as club appoints distance runner|
14. Dezember 2018
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|De Bruyne injuries could be a blessing for City, says Guardiola|
|Emery prepared to face Arsenal´s centre-back crisis|
|Ulster complete Scarlets double, Exeter gain Gloucester revenge|
|Sheffield United 1 West Brom 2: Baggies comeback boosts automatic promotion push|
|Del Potro back on court following knee injury|
|Canelo v Fielding: Rocky ready to write his own fairytale in New York|
|Boca part company with Schelotto after Copa Libertadores loss to River|
|Canelo v Fielding: Tale of the tape|
|Juventus defender Cancelo has knee surgery|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez and Rocky make weight in New York|