Everton forward Wayne Rooney has announced his immediate retirement from international football.
Rooney, England’s all-time top scorer said in a statement released to Press Association Sport:
“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.
Rooney, 31, scored a record 53 goals across 119 appearances for his country.
“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.”
Rooney made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, and his last international appearance was as captain in last November’s 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.
Rooney won five English Premier League (EPL) titles plus the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup while at United, making 559 appearances for the Red Devils.