Wayne Rooney has officially announced his retirement from International Football with immediate effect.
The news comes as a shock, considering the 31-year-old’s past admissions that he would always be ready to play for England if the call came in. Rooney had earlier hinted that the World Cup in Russia next summer would be his last tournament for the Three Lions, but the announcement now means that he won’t even be there as a part of the squad.
What also makes the decision all the more surprising is the timing of the announcement. The Everton forward had missed out on the last couple of England squads selected by manager Gareth Southgate, due to his reduced role and lack of game time at former club Manchester United.
However, his move back to Everton – the club where he first announced himself on the big stage – has seen him burst into life once more, as displayed by his two goals in the Toffees’ two Premier League games so far.
In his announcement, he revealed that Southgate had in fact contacted him to say that he had been selected for the upcoming international friendlies, which is when he informed the boss about his puzzling decision to hang up his boots for his country.
In a statement released on Rooney’s official website, he said:
“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.”
Rooney leaves the England set-up after having enjoyed a fairly successful career with his country on a personal note. He is the nation’s record goalscorer, having broken Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals – one that stood for over 40 years.
He also captained the Three Lions for three years, and is the country’s second highest capped player of all time, having made 119 appearances for them – just six away from Peter Shilton, who remains the highest with 125.
The former Manchester United captain has never managed to win a tournament with England, but it is fair to say that he has been his country’s best player for over a decade, and his International career that spanned across 14 years, was a successful one.
Manchester United fan, Wayne Rooney is his role model. Passionate writer who has written for several sites in the past. He’s also an aspiring pianist and creates background music for BlameFootball’s Youtube channel.