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Wayne Rooney announces retirement from England duty after 119 caps

Sports News 23rd August 2017

Wayne Rooney announces retirement from England duty after 119 caps and becoming all-time record goalscorer: ‘I believe now is the time to bow out’

  • Wayne Rooney became England’s all-time record goalscorer with 53 goals
  • He has announced international retirement to concentrate on Everton career
  • Rooney said Gareth Southgate wanted to recall him to the Three Lions squad
  • The 31-year-old won 119 caps  – the last of which came in November last year

Wayne Rooney has called time on his England career after a glittering 14-year spell with the national team which saw him become their all-time record goalscorer.

In a statement released by the Everton striker, the former Manchester United star has confirmed he no longer wants to be considered for international duty.

No outfield player has won more Three Lions caps than the 31-year-old, who netted a record 53 goals across 119 appearances for his country.

Wayne Rooney has called time on his England career by announcing international retirement

Rooney pictured on his debut against Australia in 2003 Rooney's last Three Lions appearance came against Scotland in November 2016

In the forward’s statement he says Gareth Southgate wanted to recall him to the squad for the forthcoming games against Malta and Slovakia.

But the forward respectively declined — instead informing the England boss he wants to concentrate on playing for Everton.

‘It was great that 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,’ he said in his statement.

‘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.

Rooney informed Three Lions boss Southgate he wants to concentrate on playing for Everton

WAYNE ROONEY’S ENGLAND CAREER IN NUMBERS 

119 – Appearances for England, the most by an outfield player and only six shy of goalkeeper Peter Shilton’s all-time record.

71 – England wins in which Rooney appeared, with 29 draws and 19 defeats.

53 – Rooney’s England-record goal haul.

7 – Only seven of his goals have come at the final stages of international tournaments, four of them as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004.

1 – He has scored only once at a World Cup, against Uruguay in 2014.

6 – Rooney has played in six major tournaments, with England missing Euro 2008.

22 – He has led England out as captain 22 times, as well as seven other occasions when he has worn the armband for part of a game.

17 – Rooney made his international debut as a substitute in a friendly against Australia in February 2003 aged 17 years and 111 days – an England record at the time, since surpassed by Theo Walcott.

45 – Sir Bobby Charlton held the England scoring record for 45 years before Rooney reached his half-century in 2015.

6 – Rooney played under half a dozen England managers – Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello, Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate.

12 & 2 – Having been famously sent off against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup and again in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro, Rooney also has 12 yellow cards in his international career.

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

It is 14 and a half years since the wide-eyed 17-year-old striker burst onto the scene for England, making his debut in a friendly against Australia at Upton Park in February 2003.

Rooney’s first international goal followed against Macedonia that September and the following summer his outstanding performances led to a place in the Euro 2004 team of the tournament.

The forward was unable to match those individual displays at a major competition, despite going onto play in three World Cups and two further European Championships.

The 31-year-old – just as he would later do with Manchester United – usurped Sir Bobby Charlton as England’s all-time top scorer with his penalty against Switzerland in September 2015.

Rooney replaced David Beckham as the country’s most capped outfield player the following September in Slovakia – ahead of which he announced his intention to retire after the 2018 World Cup.

That decision looked to be taken out of Rooney’s hands when England manager Southgate dropped his captain in his first matches as permanent manager in March.

Rooney has, though, left an indelible mark on the national game.

But leaving United for Everton has led to an immediate upturn in form and fortunes, making Southgate ready to recall the long-serving forward for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

Yet despite being within touching distance of Peter Shilton’s record 125-cap haul for England, Rooney has decided to walk away with what already is a remarkable record.

ROONEY’S STATEMENT IN FULL

‘It was great that 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.’

Captaining his country to a 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over old foes Scotland last November proved his final appearance.

The subject of Rooney’s retirement is sure to dominate the agenda when Southgate announces his squad for the upcoming matches at St George’s Park on Thursday.

And Rooney’s retirement from international football marks the end of an era, according to Football Association chairman Greg Clarke.

On a day when the former Manchester United captain announced he would not play for England any more, Clarke said: ‘Today marks the end of an era in international football.

‘Wayne Rooney is an icon of his generation and an undoubted legend of the game.

It's been a busy year for Rooney with the striker leaving United for Everton during the summer

Rooney enjoys the moment after scoring his 200th Premier League goal on Monday

Rooney will only ever have scored once in a World Cup - against Uruguay in 2014

‘As his country’s all-time leading goalscorer and most-capped outfield player, it goes without saying that Wayne has deservedly earned the right to forever be called a Three Lions great.

‘I know it was always a huge honour for Wayne to pull on the England shirt and led his country as captain with great pride.

‘It’s with sadness that we see Wayne call time on his international career but we respect his decision and expect to see him continue to contribute to Everton and the rest of the football world for many years to come.

‘From street footballer to England captain, Wayne continues to be an inspiration for all.’

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