London, Aug 23 (IANS) England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney on Wednesday announced his retirement from international football, effective immediately.
The 31-year-old superstar had turned down England coach Gareth Southgate’s call to take part in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, scheduled for next month, reports Efe.
“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,” Everton striker Rooney said.
“But I believe now is the time to bow out,” he added.
Rooney, the former captain of Manchester United, appeared in 119 matches with England, scoring a total of 53 goals.
The English star stressed that he would always remain “a passionate England fan”.
He announced his retirement just two days after he scored his 200th English Premier League goal during Everton’s 1-1 draw against Manchester City.
Rooney made his international debut in February 2003, during England’s 1-3 defeat to Australia.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.