But England's most-capped player, Peter Shilton, accused the FA of getting it "completely wrong" by offering Rooney - who retired from global football previous year - what is effectively a testimonial appearance.
As soon as the announcement of Rooney's return to the squad was announced a number of fans were curious whether he will get to wear the captain's armband.
All in all, a roaring success. It's a real good thing for everyone to be a part of.
"If we're also talking about helping young players develop in the global set-up, then surely celebrating Wayne's career in this way is an example to the next generation of England stars".
Harry Kane (on right) will cede the England captaincy to Wayne Rooney (on left) in honour of Rooney's legendary career.
"That's not to say that Wayne does not deserve a tribute but give him a presentation, don't just give caps away, which is wrong and also denies a young player a chance as well".
"Those discussions started over 12 months ago; I was quite happy for the tribute to be before the World Cup but Wayne didn't want to detract from the team at that time, which everyone respected", said Southgate. He was captain when I got into the squad.
Now though, current England captain has gone off-script and said that he would love to hand over the captain's armband to Wayne Rooney.
The 33-year-old, who now plays for DC United in Major League Soccer, has not represented the Three Lions in nearly two years and the decision has been met with varied responses by players past and present.
Naming a 28-strong squad, Southgate also handed a first call-up to Bournemouth's in-form striker Callum Wilson, a recall to Everton defender Michael Keane, and retained Dortmund's Jadon Sancho. This fixture is an opportunity to learn about some new players; we then have the game with Croatia which is important to us and I want to protect that squad as much as possible in the first game.