England captain Wayne Rooney retires from global football

Alan Shearer celebrates scoring his 200th Premier League goal

Alan Shearer celebrates scoring his 200th Premier League goal

However, a superb start to the season with Everton prompted Southgate to ask Rooney to return - only for the former Manchester United forward to announce his retirement from internationals.

Rooney met with Gareth Southgate earlier in the week to discuss taking part in England's upcoming games against Malta and Slovakia, but politely turned down the call-up in favour of bowing out and giving somebody else a crack at it.

Rooney was our talisman, the one player whom every other nation feared, the street footballer who could turn a match with a moment of wonder but which to him was delivered with the same ease as if he had been enjoying a kick-about with his mates back home in Croxteth.

Rooney made his senior worldwide debut for England in February 2003 aged 17, becoming the youngest player to represent England (a record since broken by Theo Walcott) and he is England's youngest ever goalscorer.

Rooney had not represented England since November previous year but a recall appeared on the cards having hit the ground running at boyhood club Everton following his arrival from United, scoring two goals in as many Premier League matches.

"Having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now made a decision to retire for good from global football". Of the nine players to have won 100 or more caps for England, only two of them - Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton - ever won a tournament. "But I believe now is the time to bow out", he added.

Wayne Rooney has retired from global football. A total of 119 caps points to longevity and a sense of duty and a record-breaking 53 goals indicates some degree of importance and consistency. "If I was the manager I would try to convince him to delay (his retirement) until after the World Cup".

"A fantastic @England player who always gave his all".

Wayne Rooney celebrated with unbridled joy when he scored the winning goal against Stoke City on his return to Premier League action for Everton at Goodison Park. Playing for the England is a special part of my life.

Rooney was one of the best players at Euro 2004 in Portugal.

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.

"Personally I think he deserves it the way he has been playing but that is up to the manager".

July - Named in Euro 2004 team of the tournament after scoring four goals to help England reach the quarter-finals. "This decision was very hard for me", - quotes the words of Rooney in the British press.

Neville, who worked with Rooney in the England set-up during the Roy Hodgson era, believes England fans will hold Rooney in high-regard for the commitment he showed to the shirt.

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