England's all-time top goal scorer Wayne Rooney announced his decision to retire from international football on Wednesday and stated that it was a tough call to make. The 31-year striker old scored 53 goals in the 119 games he played for the Three Lions in a career that spanned 14 years.
Wayne Rooney has decided to bid international football goodbye and the 31-year old announced his decision on Wednesday when current England manager Gareth Southgate called Rooney and expressed his desire to play the forward for the upcoming matches.
However, Rooney declined the offer and informed Southgate that he will not play any further part for the national side.
"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," Rooney told Press Association Sport reported ESPN.
"It is a really tough decision, and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.
Rooney recently parted ways with Manchester United and decided to return to Everton where he had started his career and the 31-year old marked his return to his boyhood club scoring in two consecutive matches for the Toffees.
"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," he added.
The Everton striker began his career against Australia at Upton Park in February 2003 and scored his first goal in for the country against Macedonia in September. And the former Manchester United skipper followed it up with consistent performances to seize a spot in the Euro 2004 team of the tournament. However, the former English captain was unable to lead the Three Lions to a prominent title despite playing in three World Cups and two European Championships.
Rooney made his last international appearance in November last year when England blanked Scotland 3-0 in a World Cup qualifying match.