England all-time topscorer Wayne Rooney has called it a quit at international level with the 31 year old retiring from international football.
The Everton forward who scored his 200th Premier League goal on Monday has turned down the chance to be named as part of England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.
Rooney, who moved from Manchester United to his boyhood club Everton said; “Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out”.
Rooney made the hint of calling it an end when England manager Gareth Southgate overlooked him in June for the ties with Scotland and France.
Rooney made his England debut against Australia in February 2003 aged 17 and have gone on to make 119 international appearances scoring 53 goals for the Three Lions.
He has been captain of England for a whooping 53 times with his last international appearance as a captain being November 2016 in England 3-0 win over UK rivals Scotland.
He made his major international debut at the Euro 2004 hosted by Portugal aged 18 and have appeared in three World Cups and four Euro tournaments.
THE FULL STATEMENT BY WAYNE ROONEY ON HIS ENGLAND RETIREMENT
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.
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.
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.
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 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.