After thinking “long and hard”, the England striker has announced his retirement from international football, despite Gareth Southgate wanting him back in the England squad.
“Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out,” said Rooney.
The former Manchester United captain made his England debut in February 2003 at the age of 17. Later that year, in a game against Macedonia, he became the country’s youngest ever goalscorer. The following summer, his outstanding performance landed the 18-year-old a place in the Euro 2004. Rooney scored four times in four games as England reached the quarter-finals.
The legendary striker scored 53 goals in 119 internationals, which makes him the second-highest capped player for England behind Peter Shilton’s record of 125 caps.
Rooney rejoined his boyhood Everton from Manchester United in summer after 13 years in Old Trafford. His announcement came two days after he scored his 200th Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City.
“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.” said the striker.
Rooney’s last international appearance was a 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley last November.
Wayne Rooney’s career was a mixture of highs and lows, but he performed selflessly and his commitment was unquestionable. His extensive contribution will definitely make it to the history books.
We are certain that Rooney’s retirement will dominate the agenda when Southgate announces a squad on Thursday to face Malta and Slovakia.
Currently Harry Kane is 5/4 with Paddy Power to replace Wayne Rooney,
and Cahill next in line at 3/1.