Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wayne Rooney retires from international football

Wayne Rooney has retired from international football - despite coach Gareth Southgate wanting him back in the England squad.

Rooney bows out as England's all-time leading goalscorer with 53 goals, and the second-highest appearance maker.

The former Three Lions skipper rejoined Everton this summer and has enjoyed a fine start to life back at Goodison.

After scoring his second goal in as many Premier League games against Manchester City, he confirmed he would speak to boss Gareth Southgate.

But he has now decided to hang up his boots, despite Southgate planning to select him for upcoming matches.

"It was great that 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," he said in a statement.

"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.''

Rooney's last game for England was the win over Scotland in November, with his final goal coming against Iceland last summer.

Injuries prevented him being called up last season before Gareth Southgate overlooked him for matches this summer due to his lack of game time with Manchester United.

There had been calls for his return following his impressive form with Everton.

Rooney burst onto the international scene as a teenager, making his debut against Australia in February 2003, aged 17.

He took Euro 2004 by storm before securing his move to Manchester United but often struggled in major tournaments.

Since the tournament in Portugal, he has scored just three at the World Cup and European Championships.

The 2006 World Cup ended in disgrace for Rooney as he was sent off for a stamp on former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.

Back in 2010, he was involved in an infamous bust-up with fans as he launched a rant at the TV cameras.

But he won back the support of Three Lions as he set his sights on the goal and appaearance records.

He broke Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time scoring record in September 2015, doing so from the penalty spot against Switzerland.

Rooney had previously stated his intention to retire after next summer's World Cup but with little hope of returning to the squad, he has decided to walk away.


119 - Appearances for England, the most by an outfield player and only six shy of goalkeeper Peter Shilton's all-time record.

71 - England wins in which Rooney appeared, with 29 draws and 19 defeats.

53 - Rooney's England-record goal haul.

7 - Only seven of his goals have come at the final stages of international tournaments, four of them as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004.

1 - He has scored only once at a World Cup, against Uruguay in 2014.

6 - Rooney has played in six major tournaments, with England missing Euro 2008.

22 - He has led England out as captain 22 times, as well as seven other occasions when he has worn the armband for part of a game.

17 - Rooney made his international debut as a substitute in a friendly against Australia in February 2003 aged 17 years and 111 days - an England record at the time, since surpassed by Theo Walcott.

45 - Sir Bobby Charlton held the England scoring record for 45 years before Rooney reached his half-century in 2015.

6 - Rooney played under half a dozen England managers - Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello, Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate.

12 & 2 - Having been famously sent off against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup and again in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro, Rooney also has 12 yellow cards in his international career.

By Emmanuel Ndibe


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