Wayne Rooney retires from England duty

Wednesday 23 Aug 2017
An emotional Wayne Rooney celebrates his record-breaking goal against Switzerland

Wayne Rooney has confirmed that he has played his final game for England.

Rooney, who scored a record 53 goals in 119 appearances for the senior men's team, informed Gareth Southgate of his decision on Tuesday evening having been told by the manager that he was in line to be included in his upcoming squad.

But the Everton man has opted against accepting the call, and has instead drawn time on his international career.

"It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me," said the 31-year-old.

Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege
- Wayne Rooney

"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."

Rooney, who had already stated his intention to retire from England duty after next year's World Cup, says he'll now take a different role: as a Three Lions supporter.

"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."

Southgate will pay a personal tribute to Rooney's contribution when the England manager names his squad to face Malta and Slovakia tomorrow.

By Jim Lucas