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  1. ITV Report

Wayne Rooney ends England career after snubbing call-up

England's record goalscorer led the line for more than a decade. Credit: PA

England's record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football despite being offered a return to the national squad.

The former Manchester United star, who rejoined his boyhood club Everton this summer, had been left out of England boss Gareth Southgate's recent squads.

Rooney was due to be called-up again for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers following his strong start to the season.

But he has opted to end his national career after 53 goals in 119 games.

53
Wayne Rooney's England goals - four more than previous record holder Bobby Charlton.
119
Wayne Rooney's England appearances, second only to Peter Shilton's 125 caps.

"I believe now is the time to bow out," the former England captain said in a statement. "I will always remain a passionate England fan."

The 31-year-old, who netted his milestone 200th Premier League goal on Monday night, said he told Southgate his decision in a phonecall.

"It was great 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," Rooney said.

"However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.

Wayne Rooney never played beyond the quarter-finals of a major tournament. Credit: PA

"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."

Rooney said his international career showed "dreams can come true" as he tweeted a link to his full statement.

Rooney said he bows out with the disappointment of never progressing beyond the quarterfinals of a major tournament.

"One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side," Rooney said.

"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."

Reaction to Rooney's international retirement:

Rooney's former Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba told ITV News that the national team would miss his experience.