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Wayne Rooney retires from inter­national football

Wayne Rooney has announced that he has retired from inter­nati­onal football.

The Everton striker was asked by England boss Gareth Southgate to be involved against Malta and Slovakia but he has decided to turn down the offer and retire from inter­nati­onal football.

"Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out," said Rooney.

The former Manchester United captain scored 53 times in 119 inter­nati­ona­ls making him England's all-time leading goalscorer.

Rooney made his England debut in February 2003, in a 3-1 defeat by Australia at Upton Park.

A statement from Rooney said: "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.­ 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."

He added: "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."

JC

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