England’s all-time highest goalscorer, Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from international football.
The former Manchester United captain, who made his England debut against Australia in February 2003, scored 53 goal’s in 119 appearances for the Three Lions.
In a statement on Rooney’s official website, the 31-year-old forward confirmed reports linking him with a possible return to Gareth Southgate’s team for the upcoming international week saying: “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.”
Dreams can come true and playing for @England has been exactly that. Thanks to everyone involved it’s been amazing – https://t.co/GfiT7oVCpx
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) August 23, 2017
He continued: “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.”
Having burst onto the scene at Everton, Rooney appeared at his first major tournament for England as an 18-year-old youngster at Euro 2004.
Wayne Rooney scored his 200th Premier League goals in Everton’s Monday night 1-1 draw with Manchester City to become the second highest goal scorer in the English top flight behind Alan Shearer.
Well played, Wayne Rooney ???
England’s all-time leading goalscorer ☑️ pic.twitter.com/vw9CIpN1Jx
— UEFA EURO (@UEFAEURO) August 23, 2017
“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.” he concluded.