Rooney announces retirement from international football

England's record goal-scorer Wayne Rooney announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect.

Rooney revealed that England manager Gareth Southgate had called him up ahead of the country's upcoming World Cup qualifiers next month.

It was then that Rooney informed Southgate of his intention to retire from England.

A statement on his website read: "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."

Rooney made his debut over 14 years ago when he became the youngest to play for the Three Lions during a debut that saw him take the pitch against Australia at the age of 17.

He waited several months for his first goal, but eventually went on to become the country's most prolific scorer before ultimately passing Sir Bobby Charlton's record in 2016 by converting a penalty to record his 50th goal for England.

(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

It was Rooney's second time eclipsing one of Charlton's revered records. He also managed to top the legendary Englishman's scoring mark at Manchester United before departing as one of the club's all-time greats this summer in order to rejoin Everton.

Everton may come out as the biggest winner of Wednesday's announcement, as the club will surely benefit further with his increased commitment and without the risk of setbacks from possible injuries sustained while on international duty.

"Playing for England has always been special to me," Rooney said. "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 concluded his statement by revealing his regret over his and the country's failure to capture silverware, but left the door open to possibly returning to the national team in the future.

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

Rooney announces retirement from international football
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