England all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney confirms international retirement

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No outfield player has won more Three Lions caps than the 31-year-old, who netted a record 53 goals across 119 appearances for his country.
England manager Gareth Southgate phoned Rooney on Tuesday to say he wanted to include the forward in his upcoming squad following his fine start to life back at boyhood club Everton.

Rooney netted Everton’s goal in Monday night’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City.
The former Manchester United captain, however, will play no further part for his country after informing Southgate of his decision to quit international football for good in the same phone conversation.
In a statement released to Press Association Sport, Rooney said: “It was great that 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.”
It is 14 and a half years since the wide-eyed 17-year-old striker burst onto the scene for England, making his debut in a friendly against Australia at Upton Park in February 2003.
Rooney’s first international goal followed against Macedonia that September and the following summer his outstanding performances led to a place in the Euro 2004 team of the tournament.
The forward was unable to match those individual displays at a major competition, despite going onto play in three World Cups and two further European Championships.
Rooney has, though, left an indelible mark on the national game.
The 31-year-old – just as he would later do with Manchester United – usurped Sir Bobby Charlton as England’s all-time top scorer with his penalty against Switzerland in September 2015.
Rooney replaced David Beckham as the country’s most capped outfield player the following September in Slovakia – ahead of which he announced his intention to retire after the 2018 World Cup.
That decision looked to be taken out of Rooney’s hands when England manager Southgate dropped his captain in his first matches as permanent manager in March.
But leaving United for Everton has led to an immediate upturn in form and fortunes, making Southgate ready to recall the long-serving forward for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.
Yet despite being within touching distance of Peter Shilton’s record 125-cap haul for England, Rooney has decided to walk away with what already is a remarkable record.
Captaining his country to a 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over old foes Scotland last November proved his final appearance.
The subject of Rooney’s retirement is sure to dominate the agenda when Southgate announces his squad for the upcoming matches at St George’s Park on Thursday.
Wayne Rooney’s highs and lows with England
HIGH – Becomes the youngest player to play for England in February 2003 at 17 years and 111 days in a friendly defeat against Australia.
HIGH – In September of that year, at 17 years and 317 days, becomes youngest player to score for England with the equaliser in a 2-1 away win over Macedonia in a Euro 2004 qualifying match.
HIGH – Sets the record for the youngest scorer in finals history with two in the 3-0 win over Switzerland at Euro 2004 in Portugal, only to see the record broken four days later. Goes on to score twice in England’s final group match, a 4-2 win over Croatia.
LOW – Suffers a foot injury as England lose their Euro 2004 quarter-final to hosts Portugal in a penalty shoot-out.
LOW – Faces a fitness race ahead of the 2006 World Cup in Germany after injuring his foot in a Premier League game for Manchester United. Despite being fit, he fails to score in the group stages.
LOW – Is shown a red card in the quarter-final defeat to Portugal for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho, also becoming involved in an altercation with United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo following the incident. To add insult to injury England lose on penalties and Rooney is fined by FIFA.
LOW – Misses out on Euro 2008 as England finish third in their qualifying group behind Croatia and Russia.
HIGH – Top-scores for England during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers with nine goals.
HIGH – Captains England for first time in 2009 in a friendly against Brazil.
LOW – Criticises fans for booing the England players after a 0-0 draw with Algeria in the second group match at the 2010 World Cup. Subsequently apologises for his actions.
LOW – England are eliminated after losing 4-1 to Germany in the second round, with Rooney scoreless through the tournament.
LOW – Sent off in a Euro 2010 qualifier against Montenegro for a foul on Miodrag Dzudovic and banned for the first three games of the finals in Poland and Ukraine, subsequently reduced to two on appeal.
HIGH – After missing games against France and Sweden, scores the only goal of the final group game with Ukraine to enable England to progress to the quarter-finals.
LOW – England are knocked out after losing a penalty shoot-out 4-2 to Italy, despite Rooney netting his spot-kick.
HIGH – Captains England in a competitive match for the first time, scoring twice in a 2014 World Cup qualifier against San Marino.
HIGH – Scores against Brazil twice in 2013, the first a 2-1 win at Wembley and the second in a 2-2 draw during the official reopening of the refurbished Maracana Stadium.
LOW – England are eliminated from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after finishing last in their group, losing to Italy and Uruguay and drawing with Costa Rica.
HIGH – Following Steven Gerrard’s international retirement, is named as England’s full-time captain by Roy Hodgson. He scored the only goal against Norway in a friendly.
HIGH – Wins his 100th England cap in November 2014 and scores a penalty as England defeat Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier.
HIGH – In September 2015, breaks Bobby Charlton’s England scoring record with his 50th goal in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Switzerland.
LOW – Despite Rooney scoring the opening goal, England lose 2-1 to Iceland in the knockout stages to bow out of Euro 2016.
HIGH – Earns his 116th cap in September 2016 to make him England’s most-capped outfield player.
Wayne Rooney’s England career in numbers
119 – Appearances for England, the most by an outfield player and only six shy of goalkeeper Peter Shilton’s all-time record.
71 – England wins in which Rooney appeared, with 29 draws and 19 defeats.
53 – Rooney’s England-record goal haul.
7 – Only seven of his goals have come at the final stages of international tournaments, four of them as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004.
1 – He has scored only once at a World Cup, against Uruguay in 2014.
6 – Rooney has played in six major tournaments, with England missing Euro 2008.
22 – He has led England out as captain 22 times, as well as seven other occasions when he has worn the armband for part of a game.
17 – Rooney made his international debut as a substitute in a friendly against Australia in February 2003 aged 17 years and 111 days – an England record at the time, since surpassed by Theo Walcott.
45 – Sir Bobby Charlton held the England scoring record for 45 years before Rooney reached his half-century in 2015.
6 – Rooney played under half a dozen England managers – Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello, Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate.
12 & 2 – Having been famously sent off against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup and again in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro, Rooney also has 12 yellow cards in his international career.

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