Former Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney has retired from international football, following talks with England manager, Gareth Southgate.
The 31-year-old, who this summer left United to return to his boyhood club, Everton, was in line for a recall to the Three Lions but says he has decided to call it quits.
“It was great Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches,” Rooney said in a statement on his official website. “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.
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The England top scorer says that it was a difficult decision for him, but felt it was the right moment to leave.
“It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me,” he added.
“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 retires having played more games than any current outfield player, with a total of 119caps, and scoring more goals than anyone for the Three Lions, 53.