Wayne Rooney probably didn't think he would be apologizing to fans after the match in which he scored his first ever World Cup goal, but that's what England's quick elimination from the tournament has led him to do. After losing their first two matches, England have been knocked out of the World Cup in the group stage for the first time since 1958. And though they came into a tough group with a young squad and lowered expectations, the Three Lions still managed to fall short.
The combination of England's two losses and Costa Rica beating Italy on Friday sealed the 1966 World Cup winners' exit, prompting Rooney to post a message on his Facebook page. He wrote:
Absolutely devastated to be out of the World Cup. Going into each game we had great belief in ourselves but unfortunately it hasn't worked out. Sorry to all the fans that travelled and at home that we haven't done better...gutted!
That's unlikely to ease the backlash as calls for major changes to both England's national team and domestic league setup have already been made.
One of the accusations that always pops up after England fail in a major tournament is that the players are all overpaid and spoiled and don't actually care about whether they win or lose on international duty. Watching the way they reacted to the losses against Italy and Uruguay showed that wasn't the case here, though. And Rooney's apology should only reinforce that.