England legend Wayne Rooney has revealed that he was left ‘fuming’ by UEFA after being repeatedly selected for random drugs testing during the 2016 European Championship. 

Rooney hung up his boots as England’s record goalscorer back in 2018 after 15 years and 120 games with the Three Lions, having initially burst onto the scene back in 2003 at just 17. 

One of England’s greatest ever forwards, Rooney represented his country at six international tournaments. 

As such, ahead of the 2024 Euros in Germany, he has lifted the lid on some of his past experiences as the long-term talisman for the Three Lions. 

In his column for The Times, he has revealed that while at Euro 2016 – a competition that saw England knocked out after a 2-1 defeat by minnows Iceland – he lost his temper after being selected for random drug testing on a number of occasions. 

Wayne Rooney has revealed he was left ‘fuming’ by UEFA’s random drugs testing selection

England were knocked out by Iceland in Rooney's sixth and final tournament appearance

England were knocked out by Iceland in Rooney’s sixth and final tournament appearance

After claiming that the mood around the camp was the best he had seen it in all his tournament appearances, despite the disastrous exit, Rooney revealed he was left ‘fuming’ by UEFA’s selection protocol.  

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‘A weird thing was that at every game in that tournament I was selected for the drugs test,’ he writes. ‘I was fuming. They say it’s a random process but somehow every single time it was me.

‘I was so annoyed after the Wales game that I smashed the testing room up. One of the Welsh lads was in there — Aaron Ramsey I think — and I just went “sod this” and the TV went. Everything. I smashed the lot. I got a bill for it. And another Uefa warning.’

UEFA regularly tests players’ blood and urine during its competitions, with these tests potentially coming ‘after a match, at training, or even at home,’ according to the governing body’s guidance on testing for players.

That tournament exit in 2016 would go on to be remembered as one of England’s darker days of the 21st century, with Iceland ranked 34th in the world at the time and largely expected to end the competition as also-rans.

Rooney goes on to describe how that defeat went down as something of a ‘national disaster, with Roy Hodgson resigning on the spot and Sam Allardyce later taking his place.   

Yet the then-captain admitted that the response from the press and the public in the wake of such a seismic loss was difficult to take.  

‘I knew the backlash would be brutal. Before the Iceland game, they were talking in the press about me playing like Pirlo in midfield — and then afterwards I was the worst player to play for England,’ he said. 

Despite scoring in the game, Rooney's side were knocked out of the 2016 Euros by minnows Iceland, lsoing 2-1

Despite scoring in the game, Rooney’s side were knocked out of the 2016 Euros by minnows Iceland, lsoing 2-1

Rooney claimed 'we knew it was Roy's last game' with then-manager Hodgson stepping down on the spot

Rooney claimed ‘we knew it was Roy’s last game’ with then-manager Hodgson stepping down on the spot

‘But that stuff, I was well used to. I’d been round the block enough to know that, when you get beaten by Iceland in a knockout game you take your medicine. You say nothing back.

‘We knew it was Roy’s last game. He told us. Came into the dressing room. “Well, that’s me f***ing done,” he said. And then, “Wayne, you do the press.” Then he walked out. Cheers, Roy.’

It proved to be Rooney’s last ever tournament appearance for England, with Manchester United’s record goal scorer later retiring from international duty ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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