Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect. The striker turned down the opportunity to be part of the squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers and has decided to make himself unavailable for England to focus on his club career. He has started the season in good form, as he has scored in both of his Premier League matches.
The 31-year-old has had an excellent career at international level as he managed to accumulate 119 caps for England and scored 53 times. He is the all-time leading goalscorer for the Three Lions and can be pleased with his contribution, despite it being a frustrating time for the national team.
There will be some that believe that the striker could have done more to help England to compete at the highest level, as the side never made it further than a quarter-final during the 31-year-old’s international career. However, there is only so much one individual can do. He will have regrets, but he managed to become an England legend and he will be remembered for years to come.
His best moment came at Euro 2004, as he burst on the scene with some incredible performances. The tournament led to raised expectation levels and many thought that England were certain to win a tournament at some stage during Rooney’s career. Although he never managed to achieve that, he always gave his all for his country and can be pleased with what he managed to achieve.
The England team can now move on without him and head in a new direction under Gareth Southgate. Although his experience could have been useful ahead of the World Cup, Rooney is getting on in age and it could be the best thing for the team that he has retired from international duty.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the news:
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) August 23, 2017
53 goals. 119 games. Forever a #ThreeLions legend.
— England (@England) August 23, 2017
England's highest ever goalscorer calls it a day. Congratulations to @WayneRooney on a magnificent international career. A player's player.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 23, 2017
1 – Wayne Rooney scored just one goal in 11 appearances at World Cup finals for England, despite attempting 21 shots overall. Unfortunate. pic.twitter.com/ndnKZkCiv5
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 23, 2017
Brilliant timing. Always great to go out on top. Well done @WayneRooney an International career to be proud of.
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) August 23, 2017
The general mood among England fans was one of sadness:
Sad to see Wayne Rooney retire, doesn't get recognition he deserves, we would have won Euro 2004 if he didn't get injured pic.twitter.com/H0rDDXZ7T5
— Jess Matthews (@JMatth98) August 23, 2017
Sad day if you're an England fan @WayneRooney retiring from International football, surely 'some' England fans should feel pangs of Guilt??
— ??Geordie Gaz?? (@Gstar21986) August 23, 2017
— Chris Smith (@chrispingu5) August 23, 2017
Some thought he should have done more:
After Euro 2004 I was sure we'd win a major tournament with Wayne Rooney. Would never of guessed how bad our/his tournament record would get
— Jon Walton (@J_Walton) August 23, 2017
Wayne Rooney and England – too much to go at here. World class in qualifying, time and again so bitterly disappointing on the big stage.
— Alex Miller (@AlexMiller91) August 23, 2017
Wayne Rooney achieved a unique thing for England: top goalscorer while underachieving and disappointing
— Harry Taylor (@HTaylor_KHFC) August 23, 2017