Rooney: I Want To Focus On Everton

by Adam Clark
@Everton

Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from international football, saying “I want to focus all my energies on helping Everton be successful.”

The forward has scored two goals in two Premier League games since returning to Goodison Park earlier this summer and had been in line for a recall for England's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.
 
However, Rooney, who netted a record 53 goals in 119 appearances for his country, believes it is the right time to call an end to his stellar Three Lions career.
 
"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," said the 31-year-old in a statement.

"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."
 
England currently sit top of their World Cup qualification group, two points clear of Slovakia in second, with four games left to play.
 
And Rooney says he will now take on the role of England supporter as Gareth Southgate’s men bid to reach next year’s tournament in Russia.
 
"I will always remain a passionate England fan,” he added. "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."

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