Everton striker Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from International football.
53 goals. 119 games. Forever a #ThreeLions legend.
— England (@England) August 23, 2017
The 31-year-old striker has not featured for Gareth Southgate’s side since November 2016. The attacker made his international debut back in 2003 and retires as the all-time record goalscorer, having netted 53 times in 119 appearances.
Wayne Rooney believes that the time is right for him to bow out and concentrate on his club football. The former Manchester United captain revealed that he spoke to his family and Ronald Koeman about his decision.
Speaking to the media, he also revealed that playing for England has always been special for him.
The Everton forward was expected to be a part of the England squad in the upcoming international break. As per Rooney’s comments, Gareth Southgate called him about the inclusion as well.
He said: ”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.”
Everton fans will be delighted with the news. The 31-year-old can completely focus on club football now. Despite his world class ability, Rooney is no longer at his peak physically and he would have found struggled to perform at his best for club and country.