Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect, expressing his desire to concentrate on winning trophies with Everton.
The 31-year-old became England's all-time record goalscorer and has been on the fringes of Gareth Southgate's team since as the England manager looks to a future without him.
Having seen the impact Rooney has made at Everton so far since returning to Goodison Park, Southgate was considering recalling him to the international fold but the forward has taken the decision out of his hands.
"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," Rooney said.
"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."
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Reader Comments (101)
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1 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:03:05
2 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:10:14
3 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:10:25
4 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:13:09
You can stick your effing team up your arse, etc.
5 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:13:57
6 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:42:08
7 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:44:02
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.
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.
8 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:49:31
Friendlies! A fucking waste of time and a chance for our players to either get tapped-up or injured.
9 Posted 23/08/2017 at 13:57:50
Just heard old Sven pleading with Rooney to reconsider. If he was still in charge of England, he'd still have Gerrard and Lampard getting in each other's way!
10 Posted 23/08/2017 at 14:08:30
11 Posted 23/08/2017 at 14:10:23
I hope it was intended :-)
12 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:00:54
13 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:02:05
This is great news. He's playing better already... and a brilliant job scoring our only goals in the Premier League so far, but still not quite up to the standard we need. That ballooned free-kick was really poor against City, and a poor pass almost cost us.
Come on, Wazza, you can do it for us!!!
14 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:02:09
15 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:03:40
16 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:14:26
I just wish he would get the respect from the wider England fans he deserves - but I doubt it!
On another note, I noticed we had been linked to Raul Jiminez - this is one I really hope happens. He would take a great deal of the burden from Rooney's shoulders up front.
17 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:22:16
I can't imagine Pirlo or Buffon being treated the way Southgate has with Wayne. Glad he told him where to go; maybe in the summer though he might have a change of heart. One last go at the greatest prize of all...
18 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:23:29
19 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:24:42
20 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:47:34
21 Posted 23/08/2017 at 16:54:42
22 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:05:23
23 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:09:16
It will happen but he is right to keep his focus and determination on personal improvement for the club. If anyone doubted he wanted Everton to win a trophy I think this decision puts it to bed. You read all the fans comments on the Guardian site regarding his retirement and the abuse is appalling, which is a perverted sign of respect from those with less brain cells than their IQ.
He is on track for sticking two fingers up at all the doubters and negative slurs.. I hope he does, I think he will but its early days and a lot will depend on who he plays alongside.
24 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:11:24
25 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:12:09
Having been snubbed by Southgate, he has turned back the clock this season thus far and has therefore had a recall.
The beauty of that is, as far as the history books will be concerned, is that Wayne has not been dropped and never selected thereafter. He has chosen to retire. It puts an entirely different slant on the whole episode and puts Wayne back in control of his international career.
So there is very a much a return of the original snub he must feel he received from Southgate.
26 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:19:28
Hmm. Manager or steward?
27 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:26:54
He's being pragmatic in this decision, with him and Everton being the beneficiaries in chief but Southgate and the younger players now also being free of the media leeches sponging a living off Wayne that in all probability would distract the England squad.
28 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:27:02
Why on earth did Leon Osman get selected so late in his career ? I still can't fathom that one out and there were many others.
Rooney was one of the few genuine class acts to earn his call-ups over the years.
29 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:42:15
I know you don't often comment on threads, but should you have the time how would you compare Rooney's overall input so far this season to Rom's last year?
I have it that he didn't score in the first 3 games before bagging a hat trick in the 4th.
I cant remember the games that well, but I wonder whether Rooney's overall contribution so far is greater than Rom's across the pitch?
At this point we have the same points and goal difference after 2 games as last year having played comparable opposition.
Anyhow, good for him, sacking of England. Realistically we wont win it. Save your energy lad. Scholes and Shearer both extended their careers at the top by retiring relatively early.
30 Posted 23/08/2017 at 17:51:18
He's our inspiration
31 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:01:06
I think he's being very unselfish, and winning something for Everton, looks like the kids final wish for his playing career?
Back to England, and for all the accolades, and records, I personally think he played his best football for them whilst he was an Everton player, which was a shame for Wayne Rooney considering how long ago that was.
32 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:09:11
33 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:09:13
34 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:11:03
They're pissed off now because Rooney has taken control from them and they won't get the chance to destroy him and have the chance for THEM to tell him he's finished for England.
35 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:12:16
Add to that Engleland are of course absolute shite and will win feck all with another donkey of a manager in charge , it all makes perfect sense to me.
36 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:14:34
37 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:27:08
I remember that debut hat trick for United against Fenerbache. After cheering his second and third goals, the crowd went into a sort of semi-stunned silence, like they were thinking " 'kin 'ell - what have we just bought!" He frightened the crap out of defenders.
Very soon after, he was played in a slightly different way that took advantage of the incredibly accomplished all round game that he had; no longer the out-and-out free roaming assassin he'd been at Everton.
I believe this was reflected in his in international career, as you highlight.
38 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:28:19
39 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:29:51
Love that he wants to use up whatever is left in the tank playing for us.
41 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:30:46
It proves he is not just chasing records and is focused on giving his best for Everton.
42 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:42:06
I did not realize he was so close to the record number of caps, and that is a measure of how seriously he is taking his role.
Good stuff all round and hats off to the management for making it happen.
43 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:44:16
However as has been mentioned earlier, he might be taking a powder now for the friendlies - but still may have one last hurrah in the World Cup proper.
If he continues to perform for us like he has so far this season, do not be surprised to see those members of the press who were leading the call for his exclusion from the England team to later this year suddenly be clamouring and screaming for him to reconsider and to come back to be "England's Saviour" once more.
44 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:48:23
The fact that Southgate is manager of England tells you all you need to know about the state of international football.
45 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:55:28
46 Posted 23/08/2017 at 18:58:05
47 Posted 23/08/2017 at 19:01:33
He might have took the piss by signing a massive new contact, after saying he wanted to leave, but he gave absolutely everything for that manager, and played wherever he was asked to,play, despite for much of his time at Man Utd possibly being their best player?
No tantrums, just 100% graft and quality. I still remember Messi, shaking his head and then clapping Rooney, during one Champions League final, because with Barca, on the counter, the first Man Utd player to sprint back, was the one player Barça, probably feared the most.
I'm glad he's made that decision today, because it seems like a message to us Evertonians, well that's I'm interpreting it anyway.
48 Posted 23/08/2017 at 19:07:19
49 Posted 23/08/2017 at 19:11:10
I would look to play him as often as possible certainly Saturday to Saturday. He will have his heart set on winning a trophy for us.
50 Posted 23/08/2017 at 19:56:54
51 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:02:18
I was a big fan of his return for many reasons but he has surprised us all with the level of his performances. How great would it be for Rooney to lead this young and very English Everton side to a trophy.
52 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:03:22
Here's hoping that Wayne may have a positive influence over the decisions Ross may make in the not too distant future...
53 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:11:51
His commitment to Everton is clear, and it sensible. The statement uncluttered and professional.
His record says all it needs to at England level.
Looks like a very beneficial decision for Everton.
Would I, after a good season for Everton, be surprised to see him called up for the World Cup? No.
54 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:23:37
55 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:25:41
56 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:31:00
57 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:45:31
58 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:46:50
" that over-rated prancing pony called Beckham!"
Is that the one who played for Man Utd, Madrid, Milan and PSG?
The one who won 6 Premier League winners medals, 2 FA Cups , a La Liga, a Serie A , Ligue 1, a Champions League winner ?
Or maybe the one who along with Owen singlehandedly carried the national team for 5 years or so?
Or maybe the one who was PFA Young Player of the Year, UEFA footballer of the Year, PFA team of the Year x4, Ballon d'Or runner up, FIFA World Player Silver Award x2, UEFA team of the Year x2
Overrated, my arse.
59 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:55:12
I go along with Tony Hill (#57), Wayne needs all the rest he can get from now on, he has done well, made up with the bonus of two goals in the league, but he was gone after just over an hour on Monday night, possibly because of two games in three days, so Tony's advice to wait and see how he continues sounds like good advice to me.
60 Posted 23/08/2017 at 20:56:26
61 Posted 23/08/2017 at 21:01:52
I was told Wayne covered more miles than any other player on Monday. Don't know if that's true
62 Posted 23/08/2017 at 21:15:42
I know you would have been watching the game if you could, if you did what did you think yourself?
63 Posted 23/08/2017 at 21:19:08
64 Posted 23/08/2017 at 21:20:30
65 Posted 23/08/2017 at 21:33:50
66 Posted 23/08/2017 at 21:36:21
67 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:02:23
68 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:06:24
Probably put to much effort into the first 3/4 of the game and tired late on. That will improve. You can see the frustration in him as he knows he is not quite there.
69 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:06:41
70 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:16:37
People wondered whether his reasoning for not staying at Utd or taking a bigger payday in China or MLS was down to wanting to be in the England squad. Turns out that wasn't a factor.
71 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:21:51
While I agree with your sentiments over Beckham, not sure it is right to say he and Owen carried England for any amount of time. Beckham was always reliable but his greatest achievements were probably 2001-02. Owen started well but was done within a few tournaments.
There were other important players around at the time the two were playing like Shearer, Scholes, Lampard and our own Rooney. I thought Rooney carried England in Euro 2004 personally and that was a team full of very good players including Beckham and Owen.
72 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:25:09
I wonder what he would be like if he just goal-hanged. If he never came deep and only played along the last line of the defence. Never went wider than the six-yard box.
I'd like to see him only run 5 km a game rather than 11 km. Kolse was scoring in, and winning World Cups much older.
Shearer's 260 goals isn't out of the equation if he goal-hangs and has more patience.
It's a pity our football culture is so dim. We ruined the best footballer we ever had.
73 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:28:47
He was also on the edge of the golden generation and came into an England team who couldn't have won a conker match never mind win anything in tournament football.
He has shown real class in his first few games back at Everton and I'm one toffee who is glad he's with us...
74 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:38:35
There are few players that can retire from England and be respected. Shearer comes to mind and Rooney joins him.
And now I suspect he wants to give it all for Everton and win something with us. I am setting him the following targets:
> Score so we win at Anfield
> Score at Wembley to win the FA Cup
> Be part of the team which gets into the Champions League
> Order Ross Barkley to stay
> Out score Dixie Dean's goal record...
One can dream right?
75 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:39:19
Wayne is at Everton to give his all in the pursuit of his dream...top win a trophy with the team he supports. This should make all of our squad aware of just what it means to play for our club. I am so proud of him right now!
76 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:39:42
Alan (72), yes I agree he puts a lot into his game and maybe he needs to adjust his output, possibly he will play further back when we sign the striker.
That's why myself and Tony Hill are advising caution to see how he plays in the rest of the season, but you can see at the moment he is knackered at the end of the seventy minute mark.
77 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:41:22
I've never seen Rooney whine like Ronaldo or Lukaku about not having the ball delivered on a platter. Instead he goes looking for it.
He was played out of position a lot in his career and got on with it.
78 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:42:46
79 Posted 23/08/2017 at 22:55:55
He's got the scoring record and lets be honest, England aren't going to pull up any trees next summer, especially given the awful Euro 2014 performance.
We're (hopefully) going to have loads of games this season so good he can put his feet up during the international breaks.
80 Posted 23/08/2017 at 23:35:39
His selflessness has in part reduced his shelf life, CR7 selfishness has in turn extended his at a giant club.
Ronaldo has never compromised where he plays, Rooney so team minded put extra miles on the odometer by his work ethic tracking back and playing more attritional positions.
Only in the SF a year or so ago, as Lukaku rounded the keeper, Wayne was clearing it off the line.
Says it all. Great decision from the man, helping nudge a doubter or two his way.
81 Posted 23/08/2017 at 23:37:51
82 Posted 23/08/2017 at 23:40:43
Rooney has done the same with Southgate. Rooney conned him into asking him back so he could tell him to do one. Retired, not cast adrift. Job done.
83 Posted 23/08/2017 at 00:00:58
In truth he has been a problem, not the solution, for England for a while. Hodgson was playing him all over the plus & fucking with formations to accommodate him. The best solution would have been to drop him.
He's at the age where he needs less football, not more. This is the best decision for Rooney & Everton.
84 Posted 24/08/2017 at 00:34:51
In that light, I thought of something else.
I know "soccer" is a vicious business. If players don't perform, they are sold.
I sincerely hope Wayne Rooney, after "coming home", retires a Blue. He's come back, and I for one hope as age finally catches up to him in the next few years, he stays home and is allowed to ride into the sunset as an Everton player.
Of course the way he's playing, and with the stats showing the ground he's covering, he'll be 58 years old when that happens!
85 Posted 24/08/2017 at 01:00:30
1) What does this do to the Rooney brand Everton were presumably hoping to leverage and in so doing derive greater commercial benefit for the club? Alan Smith was talking on Sky Sports today about Rooney's (club and country) career in the past tense earlier and Carragher was referring to his great United career and how the time comes to all to step down - will his enormous fan base move on to the next England/United star? Does international retirement expedite this?
2) Only Wayne Rooney and Gareth Southgate know what was discussed between them but it's conceivable Rooney was not in the manager's plans and actually this was the best PR for both parties.
No axe to grind and I hope Rooney's international retirement is as straightforward as it seems and it's to Everton's benefit.
I personally think he may bang in 20+ goals this season for us and as I've said on another thread before, his physical appearance in terms of muscle and body fat is as good as I've seen it in his career so I think he's giving it his best shot.
86 Posted 24/08/2017 at 01:53:09
I can just imagine Wayne reading this, studying the comments of the management and their evaluation of his contribution to the England squad and how it widely it differs from his own opinion of his value and acceptable role.
Wayne wants to lead by example and that means playing. Good on you Wayne. A great decision.
88 Posted 24/08/2017 at 02:22:16
If he helps Everton win a trophy it will still all be about Rooney not Everton.
Chances of Everton winning anything with or without Rooney are very slim.
Everton do not spend enough to compete.
I would be happy if Rooney gets the winner in both derbys this season in convincing wins.
As for England they are the Everton of international football. Great at letting you down..
89 Posted 24/08/2017 at 02:27:29
If he scores 15 goals for us and win us the FA Cup, he can just walk into the England squad next summer.
91 Posted 24/08/2017 at 02:50:51
92 Posted 24/08/2017 at 03:18:12
Id have liked Rooney to remain part of the England setup for the next few months. With a World Cup coming up at the end of the season Im surprised and disappointed that he didnt fancy one last crack at a major tournament.
Whether it would have been a victorious month in Russia, or a heavily-covered end to an international career, we would have benefited from the exposure.
93 Posted 24/08/2017 at 05:52:29
I too feared he would spend the rest of his career being referred to as a "former Man Utd player", but I listened to several news and sports channels throughout the night and he was only called an Everton player.
Rightly so. I think the way he has spoken about us since he came back has been a big influence on that.
94 Posted 24/08/2017 at 06:32:03
I had also thought the same as you on point 2.
I also can go along with those who feel if Wayne has had a decent enough season, and considering Defoe's involvement in squads, there may be an opportunity for him to play himself back into the squad for the finals, assuming England qualify!
95 Posted 24/08/2017 at 09:19:24
96 Posted 24/08/2017 at 10:33:17
Its hard for Koeman to prioritise and keep the board, players and fans onside but the likes of Rooney definately needs support within the team and good breaks away from it.
Tell Barkley he simply can't go. The rewards we could reach this season could be worth more than what we recieve for Barkley so get what we can from him then he can go.
Rooney's commitment to any fixture can never be questioned. He has been a real winner and a top example.
The England decision is great even if he was 21.
What does he want to spend a summer of bad press for? Or play pathetic friendlies while 6 players from top 4 sides pull a sicky.
97 Posted 24/08/2017 at 11:01:41
98 Posted 24/08/2017 at 12:55:06
99 Posted 24/08/2017 at 13:09:04
"What does he want to spend a summer of bad press for? Or play pathetic friendlies while 6 players from top 4 sides pull a sicky" - Exactly.
Glad he has retired, glad he has pretty much publically told Gareth "penalty misser and loser" Southgate where to go and so far, glad he is back.
100 Posted 24/08/2017 at 16:20:48
I bet THAT goal against Arsenal gave him more satisfaction than any he scored for Man U or England.
I, for one, am glad he's our player again. He might not win anything with the Blues but it won't be for the want if trying.
A legend nevertheless.
101 Posted 24/08/2017 at 16:44:20
I used to be pleased when our boys were picked, it usually meant we were playing well. These days it can be more of a curse or inconvenience, just look at McCarthy.
Anyway good luck to them and I see that the knob-head Southgate has named FOUR goalkeepers in the squad. I always think that three is over-kill as one is just along for the ride. Maybe he is going to play Pickford as sweeper.
102 Posted 24/08/2017 at 17:59:45
Fair enough the world cup winners of 66 can boast an amazing medal. Some of them will have had domestic medals to sit aside them.
Who walks away with achievements like Rooney though?
Domestic and international combined, I can't think of a challenger?
103 Posted 24/08/2017 at 18:05:11
Makes you wonder, is it some perverse kind of indecision?
104 Posted 24/08/2017 at 18:45:07
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