English Footballer Wayne Rooney Retires From International Football

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Wayne Rooney scored a record 53 times for England

England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football after turning down the chance to be part of the squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

The Everton striker was asked by England boss Gareth Southgate to be involved against Malta and Slovakia.

“Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out,” said the 31-year-old.

The former Manchester United captain scored 53 times in 119 internationals.

Rooney, overlooked by Southgate for matches against Scotland and Francein June, made his England debut in February 2003, in a 3-1 defeat by Australia at Upton Park.

He made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, and his last international appearance was as captain in last November’s 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.

Rooney rejoined boyhood club Everton in the summer, and his announcement comes two days after he scored his 200th Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

After that game, he said he was “focusing on Everton” rather than an international recall.

“I’m sure I’ll speak to Gareth Southgate over the next few days,” he added. “We’ll see what happens.”

Southgate is due to name a squad on Thursday for the World Cup qualifiers in Malta on 1 September, and at home to Slovakia three days later.

Rooney’s statement in full

It was great Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches. I really appreciated that.

However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.

It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.

Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me. But I believe now is the time to bow out.

Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton. Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful.

I will always remain a passionate England fan. One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side. Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team.

One day the dream will come true and I look forward to being there as a fan – or in any capacity.

Analysis

BBC Sport’s chief football writer Phil McNulty

Rooney retires from international football as England’s record goalscorer – and perhaps with his contribution undervalued.

The 31-year-old’s career was a mixture of highs and lows after he truly burst on the global scene as a teenager at Euro 2004, and Rooney will forever be associated with an outstanding group of club players who could not replicate their domestic and European success at international level.

Rooney did not score at a World Cup until his third attempt – eventually netting against Uruguay in Brazil in 2014 – but he was also a player who carried England on so many occasions and his place in the history books is testimony to his outstanding contribution over so many years.

He performed selflessly, often in unfamiliar roles, and his commitment was unquestioned. For all the occasional demands for Rooney to be dropped during his England career, there was rarely much proof they would have been a better team without him.

England’s lack of success during his time on the international scene will always be a source of frustration and regret, but history may be kinder to Rooney on reflection upon an stellar career.

The news broke…

…and he said his ‘thank yous’.

Then came the tributes…

…from former England players…

…and Rooney’s former club…

…and his current employers.

There’s no doubting his achievements over the years.

Everton’s fourth-highest Premier League goalscorer also paid tribute.

Other former players added their own congratulations.

Credits/Original Post: BBC

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