Wayne Rooney has officially announced his retirement from international football, bringing an end to his career with the Three Lions.
Since earning his first cap in 2003, Rooney became a regular player in the first team squad on the international stage, and scored many goals that ensured that he was called upon regularly.
The former Manchester United forward made the move to his former club Everton earlier in the summer, and was touted by many to make a return to the international fold having recently rediscovered his goalscoring touch.
The 31-year-old was chosen to become captain of the side in 2014, having already been made captain of his former club Manchester United, and was chosen to lead the Three Lions ahead in their abysmal Euro 2016 campaign, in which Roy Hodgson took the decision to resign after a shock loss to Iceland.
He remained captain under the short managerial run of Sam Allardyce, and also under current England boss Gareth Southgate. However, having seen first team opportunities limited at Manchester United, Rooney began to fall out of favour having seen the likes of Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy being preferred options up front.
Later in his career, Rooney fell back from his original role as a striker, instead taking a deeper role in midfield, and this saw his goal tally suffer. He began to fall down the pecking order for both club and country, despite the milestones he had reached, records he had broken, and honours he had won.
A character that will be missed
Rooney was able to hit yet another milestone in his career, becoming the man to break the record of the all-time leading England goalscorer, overtaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s 45-year record back in 2015.
However, given that age is beginning to not be on his side, Rooney took the decision to take a step back and focus on club football for the latter stages of his playing days.
He will be a character that will be missed by not only England fans, but also his international teammates.
He made his mark on the international scene, having enjoyed a remarkably successful career at Old Trafford, and will look to enjoy his final years at the top level of football at his boyhood club Everton.
Written by Cristian Fry
Follow Cristian on Twitter @CristianF99
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