Gary Lineker and Michael Owen among the thousands of fans to hail Everton star and former Manchester United striker
WAYNE ROONEY announced his retirement from international duty today.
The Everton striker ends his Three Lions career as the nation’s highest ever goalscorer, also winning the second most caps of all-time.
The former Manchester United man, 31, posted a statement on his website that said he had taken the “really tough decision” after a long chat with his nearest and dearest.
Rooney has more England caps than any other outfield player – he only trails goalkeeper Peter Shilton (125 caps) all-time – with 119 caps.
He scored a record 53 goals for his country, overtaking long-time holder Sir Bobby Charlton with his 50th goal against Switzerland in a Euro 2016 qualifier in September 2015.
A pair of former England goalscorers led the tributes to Rooney.
Gary Lineker, who scored 48 international goals for the Three Lions, wrote: “England’s highest ever goalscorer calls it a day.
“Congratulations to Wayne Rooney on a magnificent international career. A player’s player.”
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Wayne Rooney – His England career broken down
- England appearances: 119
- Debut: vs Australia 12 Feb 2013, aged 17 years 111 days
- International goals: 53 – England’s record goal haul
- First goal: vs Macedonia 6 September 2003
- Wins: 71, Draws: 29, Losses: 19
- Major tournaments: Six
- World Cup goals: One – vs Uruguay in 2014
- Red cards: Two – Portugal 2006, Montenegro 2012
- Caps as captain: 22 games
- First captaincy: vs Brazil 14 November 2009
- England managers : Six – Eriksson, McClaren, Capello, Hodgson, Allardyce, Southgate
Michael Owen said: “Brilliant timing. Always great to go out on top.
“Well done Wayne Rooney, an international career to be proud of.”
Owen scored 40 goals for England and was Rooney’s strike partner for the Three Lions from 2003-2008.
Former club Manchester United and boyhood club Everton also paid tribute.
United wrote: “Well done on a record-breaking England career.”
Everton echoed that sentiment, writing: “Congratulations on an incredible England career.”
The official Fifa World Cup page also posted a tribute – despite the striker famously scoring just once in World Cup competitions for England.
They posted on Instagram: “England’s all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football after turning down the chance to be part of the England squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
The Everton striker scored 53 times.”
Toffees fans were obviously delighted with the news, with the striker now fully able to concentrate on club duties and build on his impressive start after returning to Goodison Park.
Former Everton striker Kevin Campbell said what a lot of fans were thinking.
“Wayne Rooney has been a national treasure and how he’s hung up the international boots.
“EFC will benefit immensely! Class.”
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