Wayne Rooney announces retirement from international football

Wayne Rooney announces retirement from international football

Wayne Rooney says he wants to focus all his attention on making Everton successful as he announces his retirement from global football.

"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".

Rooney retires after playing 119 matches for England.

"Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out", Rooney was quoted as saying.

While Rooney will depart from the worldwide scene as one of the greats, there will be questions about his decision - particularly the timing.

Rooney's first global 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.

'Realistically I know myself that Russian Federation will be my last opportunity to do anything with England, ' he said back in August 2016.

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

His return to Everton appears to have given the 31-year-old a new lease of life.

England manager Gareth Southgate phoned Rooney on Tuesday to say he wanted to include the forward in his upcoming squad following his fine start to life back at boyhood club Everton.

Surely he could do that while being involved with England until next summer?

But Rooney revealed in his statement that he would have been called up for the upcoming global break.

The Everton striker will not be part of Gareth Southgate's plans to face Malta and Slovakia in World Cup qualifiers next month, with the England manager set to pay his own tribute on Thursday when he names his squad to play those two fixtures.

While the forward last scored at least 10 league goals in 2014-15, Jagielka said he never doubted Rooney would deliver for Everton.

"However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now chose to retire for good from worldwide football", Rooney said in a statement on Wednesday.