Wayne Rooney retires from England duty

Wayne Rooney retires from international football

Wayne Rooney retires from international football

England's record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from worldwide football. He is concentrating on his football with Everton and if England comes knocking - he is a lot younger than me and has more goals to go for - I am sure he will be happy. "I really appreciated that", he said in a statement.

Just three days later, Rooney broke Charlton's England goalscoring record, netting his 50th worldwide goal from a penalty in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Switzerland, at Wembley.

"I will always remain a passionate England fan", Rooney said.

Rooney, who returned to his boyhood club from Manchester United last month, has scored both of Everton's Premier League goals this season in their 1-0 win over Stoke City and 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

Rooney became the youngest player to play for England when he made his global debut at the age of 17 in February 2003. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me.

"One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side", Rooney said.

Rooney's first global goal followed against Macedonia that September and the following summer his outstanding performances led to a place in the Euro 2004 team of the tournament.

"Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team. I look forward to being there as a fan [now] or in any capacity".

English Football Association chairman Greg Clarke acclaimed Rooney, who broke Bobby Charlton's 45-year England scoring record in September 2015, as "an icon of his generation and an undoubted legend of the game".

Just seven months later, he became the youngest ever to score for his national side in a Euro 2004 qualifier versus Macedonia in Skopje.

Harry Kane is expected to continue as a captain with the Tottenham striker likely to be Southgate's permanent skipper right the way through until the World Cup.

With four matches left to play in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, England is well-positioned as it leads Group F by two points.

In his next game - his 107th appearance for England - Rooney equalled Ashley Cole as his country's fifth-highest capped player, also netting his 300th professional goal.

The subject of Rooney's retirement is sure to dominate the agenda when Southgate announces his squad for the upcoming matches at St George's Park on Thursday.

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