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Saturday , 18 November 2017

Rooney quits Three Lions, retires from international football

England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football after turning down the chance to be part of the squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

The Everton striker was asked by England boss Gareth Southgate to be involved against Malta and Slovakia.

“Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out,” said the 31-year-old.

The former Manchester United captain scored 53 times in 119 internationals.

He made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, and his last international appearance was as captain in last November’s 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.

Rooney rejoined boyhood club Everton in the summer, and his announcement comes two days after he scored his 200th Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

After that game, he said he was “focusing on Everton” rather than an international recall.

“I’m sure I’ll speak to Gareth Southgate over the next few days,” he added. “We’ll see what happens.”

Southgate is due to name a squad on Thursday for the World Cup qualifiers in Malta on 1 September, and at home to Slovakia three days later.

Rooney added, “It was great 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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