England captain Wayne Rooney has said he will retire following the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, as reported by BBC Sport.
New England manager Sam Allardyce picked his 23-man squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia as well as including Rooney also confirmed that the Manchester United forward would remain captain of the national side.
Rooney said to BBC Sport: “Come Russia I feel that will be the time to say goodbye to international football. My mind is made up.”
He added: “It’s still two years away. I started playing professional football when I was 16, and started playing internationals when I was 17. Fifteen years is a lot. I’d be 34 by the next tournament.”
He continued: “I’ve had a fantastic international career so far. I’ve enjoyed every minute. Russia will be my last opportunity to do anything with England so I’m going to try to enjoy these two years and hopefully I can end my time with England on a high.”
If Rooney plays in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia he will overtake David Beckham as England’s most capped outfield player ever as he will earn his 116th cap. Rooney is also England’s top goalscorer of all time with 53 goals.
The 32-year-old has appeared in three FIFA World Cups and three European Championships for England.
He helped the side progress to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2006 before suffering a 3-1 penalty defeat to Portugal. Since a Round of 16 defeat to Germany was followed by a disappointing group stage knockout in Brazil.
Twice Rooney has helped England progress to the quarter-finals of the European Championships before however Portugal stopped the Three Lions progress in 2004 while Italy did so in 2012. Iceland knocked out an England side captained by Rooney in this year’s European Championships.