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England’s all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney retires from international football

After talks with Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate, the 31-year-old has hung up his boots on the international stage

Wayne Rooney has retired from international football.

Following talks with England manager Gareth Southgate, the 31-year-old has decided to hang up his Three Lions boots once and for all.

Wayne Rooney may have thought his England career was over - but his move to Merseyside may have changed things

PA:Empics Sport
Wayne Rooney has retired from international football

The Everton forward is his country’s all-time leading scorer with 53 goals, four ahead of World Cup winner Bobby Charlton.

He also won 119 caps for England, making him the most-capped outfield player, and second overall behind Peter Shilton on 125.

Sun Sport understand that Southgate was planning to name Rooney in his upcoming squad for England’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

Rooney played 119 times for the Three Lions

Rooney played 119 times for the Three Lions

Rooney, captain of England on 21 occasions, has started the new season in good goalscoring form with two goals in as many Premier League games.

It is believed that Southgate wanted to recall him for his next squad but Rooney politely declined.

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“Playing for England has always been special to me,” Rooney’s statement read.

“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.”

Thanks for your service, Wayne. A legend for the ages.