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Wayne Rooney announces international retirement

ENGLAND

Wayne Rooney announces international retirement

Wayne Rooney announces international retirement

BEN STANSALL

AFP

The Everton striker, England's all-time top goal scorer and the second player to have represented his country the most times, calls it a day.

Wayne Rooney announced today that he has played his final game at international level for England and quits the national team as the country's all-time top goal scorer and second most-capped player. In a statement on his official web page, Rooney explained that while he still receives phone calls from England manager Gareth Southgate, he would rather plough all of his energies into his club, Everton.

Wayne Rooney's statement on quitting 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".

Wayne Rooney and Sir Bobby Charlton pictured in October 2015.

Rooney's figures for England: 119 caps, 53 goals

The 31-year-oldis the second player to have represented England the most times with 119 caps, just six behind former goalkeeper Peter Shilton. He is the all-time maximum goal scorer with 53 goals, four more than Sir Bobby Charlton. He drew level with Charlton in September 2015, scoring from the penalty spot against San Marino.

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