Wayne Rooney retires from England duty

Gareth Southgate had asked Rooney to return to the squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Wayne Rooney in action during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier, Group F match against Malta
Image: Wayne Rooney held talks with England manager Gareth Southgate this week

England's record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football.

The Everton forward, who also holds more England caps than any other outfield player, scored 53 goals in 119 appearances for his country.

England manager Gareth Southgate had phoned Rooney on Tuesday to invite the 31-year-old for a recall into his upcoming squad after two goals in two Premier League games following his return to Goodison Park.

But the former Manchester United captain told Southgate of his retirement decision in the same conversation.

Full Rooney statement

"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.

"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.

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Wayne Rooney celebrates his first England goal v Macedonia, Euro 2004 qualifying, 6 September 2003
Image: Rooney celebrates his first England goal, against Macedonia in Euro 2004 qualifying, in 2003

"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.

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"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.
Wayne Rooney

"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."

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