Wayne Rooney retires from international football

Wayne Rooney has retired from international football - despite Gareth Southgate wanting him back in the England squad.

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England's all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football after turning down the chance to be part of the squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers.

Rooney bows out as England's all-time leading goalscorer with 53 goals, and the second-highest appearance maker.

The former Three Lions skipper rejoined Everton this summer and has enjoyed a fine start to life back at Goodison.

After scoring his second goal in as many Premier League games against Manchester City, he confirmed he would speak to boss Gareth Southgate.

But he has now decided to hang up his boots, despite Southgate planning to select him for upcoming matches.

"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," he said in a statement.

"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.''

WAYNE ROONEY PROUD OF 'SPECIAL' ENGLAND GOALSCORING RECORD

Rooney's last game for England was the win over Scotland in November, with his final goal coming against Iceland last summer.

Injuries prevented him being called up last season before Gareth Southgate overlooked him for matches this summer due to his lack of game time with Manchester United.

There had been calls for his return following his impressive form with Everton.

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