Wayne Rooney Calls Time on International Career
It is the end of an era as Everton striker and former England captain Wayne Rooney officially announced his retirement from the international scene. The decision came after England boss Gareth Southgate asked Rooney to play against Malta and Slovakia, but the latter turned down the request.
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“Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out,” said the 31-year old veteran. From 119 international appearances, he has scored a grand total of 53 goals. His announcement comes just two days after he scored his 200th Premier League goal in Everton’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City.
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.