Rooney set for Everton European debut

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Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick on his European debut for Manchester United in 2004
Europa League third qualifying round first leg: Everton v MFK Ruzomberok
Venue: Goodison Park Date: Thursday, 27 July Kick-off: 20:05 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Forward Wayne Rooney said he has always wanted to play for Everton in Europe, as they prepare for their Europa League third qualifying round first-leg tie.

The Toffees face Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok at Goodison Park on Thursday.

England international Rooney, 31, is set to make his first competitive start since rejoining this month after 13 years at Manchester United.

“The first game back will be an emotional day for me,” said Rooney.

He joined Manchester United from Everton as an 18-year-old for £27m in 2004.

Rooney added: “Something I always wanted to do was play in Europe with Everton. I was a bit disappointed not to do that before but now I’ll have a chance.

“I won the trophy last year so I’m hoping we can go far and, you never know, try to win it.”

Fellow Everton summer arrivals Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and Cuco Martina may also feature against Ruzomberok.

Ruzomberok, who are playing in Europe for the first time in 11 years, finished third in the Slovakian top flight last season.

They have knocked out Serbian side FK Vojvodina and Norway’s SK Brann to reach this stage.

The winners will progress to August’s play-off round, which is the final two-legged knockout round before the group stage, which begins in September.

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, who is set to leave the club, misses out after groin surgery, while winger Yannick Bolasie (knee) and Seamus Coleman (broken leg) are also unavailable.

Everton (from): Pickford, Martina, Williams, Keane, Baines, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies, Klaasen, Rooney, Sandro, Stekelenburg, Kenny, Jagielka, Barry, Lennon, McCarthy, Mirallas, Besic, Dowell, Lookman.

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