Wayne Rooney says he will never retire from England duty

Tuesday 08 Sep 2015
Wayne Rooney smiles in training ahead of Swiss meeting

Wayne Rooney is on the verge of becoming England’s all-time top scorer, but if he has his way he could win the most caps, too.

The Three Lions skipper equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s 45-year record against San Marino on Saturday, and one more strike will take him out in front with 50 goals for his country.

He and his team face Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, giving Rooney a chance to get that historic goal.

England v Switzerland

UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
7.45pm, Tuesday 8 September 2015
Live on ITV1
Buy tickets online

It will also be his 107th cap – 18 behind Peter Shilton's record. And at just 29 he is not thinking of giving up any time soon.

“I'm sure, when that time comes, I'll have to listen to my body,” said Rooney. “I said the other night, I feel I'm capable of going to Russia [in 2018].

“After that, it may be a realistic time to see how I feel and if I feel it's not right for England or myself, I'll have a decision to make. Or the manager would have a decision to make.

“If I feel I can carry on, I'll try. But I won't be one to say I'm not available for selection. I'm sure it'll probably be the manager's choice more than mine.”

Rooney added: "It's a huge honour to play for England. If the manager feels I can't do it, I'll imagine it'll be difficult to say I'm ready not to play.

“If the manager says he doesn't feel I'm in his plans for the next tournament, it's probably better I don't play in the qualifying games because I won't be going to the tournament.”

Wayne Rooney and Roy Hodgson press

On the immediate agenda for the Manchester United man is three points against the Swiss, which would maintain England’s 100 per cent record in qualifying – after a place at Euro 2016 was sealed on Saturday.

It would also secure top spot in Group E with two games to spare and enable Roy Hodgson and his team to start thinking about the Finals one month early.

After games against Estonia and Lithuania, England face a series of friendlies – including France and Spain in November – to help prepare them for next summer. 

And Rooney is relishing the opportunity to face top European opposition.

Rooney controls

Wayne Rooney controls the ball in training

“No disrespect to San Marino, it's a game you want to get over quickly and move on. It's a game everyone knows we were going to win. The pitch wasn't the greatest.

“Against Switzerland it will be a difficult game. Against an Italy, France or Spain, you have to take the chances when they come because there won't be many of them.

“It's about being clinical really.”

He added: “It gives you more to think about because they're top goalkeepers. We do a lot of homework and study on them, as a striker looking at the defenders to exploit their weaknesses.

“I'll watch videos of Buffon one v one, to see which angles he puts his body in so you know where to finish, but it's about your instinct on the pitch.”

The Three Lions can clinch top spot in Group E on Tuesday night with a draw against Switzerland at Wembley.

Tickets for the game are still available and can be printed at home, click here to buy online.

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor At the England hotel