Wayne Rooney retires from international football

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England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football after rejecting a Three Lions recall.

The Everton striker, who rejoined his boyhood club from Manchester United this summer, announced on Wednesday he will step down from national duty “for good” with immediate effect.

The 31-year-old, who has enjoyed a fine start to the new season, revealed England manager Gareth Southgate had been preparing to recall him to the national squad for next month’s World Cup qualifying matches.

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Wayne Rooney

But Rooney, who has made a record 119 appearances for an England outfield player, informed Southgate he will no longer pull on the Three Lions shirt.

He is England’s top scorer with 53 goals and captained his country on 23 occasions.

Below is a statement from Rooney on his decision to retire form international football:

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.

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