World Cup legend claims Rooney should never play for England again

Henrietta Strickland
August 24, 2017

England's record goal-scorer and former captain Wayne Rooney on Wednesday announced that he is retiring from worldwide football with immediate effect.

Southgate had phoned Rooney - who had lost both the captaincy and eventually his place in the squad as he became a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United last season - to congratulate him on his early season form for new club Everton.

Rooney himself had indicated he would talk to Southgate about the situation when questioned about it following the draw at the Etihad.

"Playing for England has always been special to me", Rooney said.

Rooney never progressed beyond the quarterfinals of a tournament with England and his struggles on the worldwide stage often saw him cast as the fall guy for his country's inability to come close to adding to its solitary title in the 1966 World Cup.

England will now be left to consider who will be his replacement while Rooney can reflect on a more than satisfactory global career.

Rooney was permanent England captain since replacing Steven Gerrard in the role after the 2014 World Cup. In his final years for his country, the records then began to tumble.

The 31-year-old superstar had turned down England coach Gareth Southgate's call to take part in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, scheduled for next month, reports Efe.

He had alluded to what his priority was in his post-match interview on Sky Sports on Monday after he joined Alan Shearer in scoring 200 Premier League goals - made sweeter as it came against Manchester United's city rivals Manchester City.

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. Only Peter Shilton has played more times, with 125.

Rooney was full of praise for the England manager as he expressed his gratitude and said he really appreciated the national-call up despite deciding to bow-out from the worldwide stage.

"Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out", Rooney was quoted as saying.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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