All Access Soccer

ROONEY RETIRES FROM INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

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Rob Harris, AP

England record-scorer Wayne Rooney called time on his often tempestuous international career on Wednesday, retiring from duty after spurning an offer to return to the squad.

“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.”

A return to form since leaving Manchester United to go back to Everton in the off-season had seen England manager Gareth Southgate approach Rooney about returning for upcoming World Cup qualifiers. But the 31-year-old striker has decided to focus on his club career, quitting England duty with a record 53 goals in 119 appearances — more than any other outfield player.

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