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Wayne Rooney Photo: Skysports

Wayne Rooney retires from England’s team

England’s all-time leading goal scorer and most-capped outfield player, Wayne Rooney, announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, ending a 14-year career on active football.
Rooney 31, and a lethal Everton forward, who scored 53 goals in 119 appearances for the English national team, announced his retirement in a statement on his website.
He said: “It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.
“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.
“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 [Southgate] is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team.”
In the statement, Rooney revealed that Southgate had called him to offer a place in his Three Lions squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, having been absent from all World Cup qualifying squads this year (in March and June), but the Everton man decided to focus on his club commitments.
Playing without fear, the bullish youngster excited England fans, with comparisons drawn to the free-flowing and carefree nature of Paul Gascoigne’s style of play 15 years earlier. At his first major tournament, UEFA EURO 2004, Rooney seemed destined to live up to that promise, scoring a pair of braces against Switzerland and Croatia in the group stage. However, he was withdrawn through injury early in the quarter-final against Portugal, a game which saw England exit the competition.
At subsequent tournaments, Rooney perhaps failed to find the spark he had done at his first, seeing red against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals, and scoring his only World Cup goal at the tenth time of asking, in his third finals, at Brazil 2014 – a tournament in which England exited at the group stage.

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