England’s all time leading top scorer and Everton striker Wayne Rooney on Wednesday announced his retirement from international football. The former Red Devil calls time on his international career at a time when fans and players were urging manager Gareth Southgate to recall the veteran striker by naming him in his latest squad for upcoming clashes with Malta and Slovakia.  

The former Manchester United striker, who rejoined his childhood club Everton this summer made the announcement official when he was speaking to Press Association Sport.

“Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out,” Rooney was quoted as saying.

Rooney was full of praise for the England manager as he expressed his gratitude and said he really appreciated the national-call up despite deciding to bow-out from the international stage. 

“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,” he said.

The 31-year old is England’s most capped forward and also his country’s all time leading scorer with 53 goals in 119 appearances.