Wayne Rooney: England striker retires from international football
Wayne Rooney announces retirement from England duty as he backtracks over World Cup 2018 finale: ‘I believe now is the time to bow out’
He made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, and his last international appearance was as captain in last November’s 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.
KEY FACTS AND ANALYSIS
The 31-year-old’s career was a mixture of highs and lows after he truly burst on the global scene as a teenager at Euro 2004, and Rooney will forever be associated with an outstanding group of club players who could not replicate their domestic and European success at international level.
Rooney did not score at a World Cup until his third attempt – eventually netting against Uruguay in Brazil in 2014 – but he was also a player who carried England on so many occasions and his place in the history books is testimony to his outstanding contribution over so many years.
ROONEY’S STATEMENT IN FULL
‘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.’