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SBD Global/August 24, 2017/International Football

England Striker Wayne Rooney Retires From Int'l Football

England's all-time leading goalscorer, Wayne Rooney, retired from int'l football "after turning down the chance to be part of the squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers," according to the BBC. The EPL side Everton striker was asked by England Manager Gareth Southgate to be "involved against Malta and Slovakia." Rooney said, "Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out." The former ManU captain scored 53 times in 119 internationals. His announcement comes two days after he scored his 200th Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at Man City. After that game, he said that he was "focusing on Everton" rather than an int'l recall. In a statement, Rooney said, "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." COMMENTARY: The BBC's Phil McNulty wrote Rooney retired from int'l football as England's record goalscorer -- and "perhaps with his contribution undervalued." The 31-year-old's career was a "mixture of highs and lows after he truly burst on the global scene as a teenager at Euro 2004, and Rooney will forever be associated with an outstanding group of club players who could not replicate their domestic and European success" at int'l level. England's "lack of success" during his time on the int'l scene "will always be a source of frustration and regret, but history may be kinder to Rooney on reflection upon an stellar career" (BBC, 8/23).
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