Wayne Rooney retires from the England football team
Rooney is England's all-time leading goalscorer
He returned to boyhood club Everton before the start of the season
Rejuvenated after his return to boyhood club Everton, Wayne Rooney has called time on his international career with England.
The 31-year-old Rooney, who scored his 200th Premier League goal on Monday in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City, has netted in both of Everton’s league games in a promising start to the season for the Merseyside club.
“Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton,” said Rooney, who scored 53 times in 119 games for England, in a statement on his website.
“Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful.”
Rooney began his career with Everton, before joining United in 2004. He made his return to Everton in the summer transfer window having becoming sidelined at Old Trafford.
Former England international Gary Lineker has described Rooney as “one of Britain’s top 10 ever” players.
However, England has historically struggled at international level – the country last won the world Cup in 1966 – and Rooney was unable to change that dynamic.
I will always remain a passionate England fan,” added Rooney. “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.”
Rooney came to international prominence when he made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, though he broke a bone in his foot in the quarterfinals against Portugal.