England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football.
England announced his retirement on their official twitter page.
53 goals. 119 games. Forever a #ThreeLions legend.
— England (@England) August 23, 2017
Rooney announced his retirement after turning down the chance to be part of the England squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
Sky Sports reports that England manager Gareth Southgate had phoned Rooney on Tuesday to invite the 31-year-old for a recall into his upcoming squad against Malta and Slovakia.
|Wayne Rooney England’s record goalscorer|
The Everton forward, who also holds more England caps than any other outfield player, scored 53 goals in 119 appearances for his country.
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.
|Wayne Rooney after scoring his 200th Premier League goal|
After that game, he said he was “focusing on Everton” rather than an international recall.
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.
photo credit: Sky Sports