LONDON, Aug 23: England�s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney announced today he is retiring from international football with immediate effect after manager Gareth Southgate tried to recall him to the squad.
The 31-year-old � scorer of 53 goals in 119 appearances for his country � told Southgate of his decision during a phone conversation yesterday.
Southgate had phoned Rooney � who had lost both the captaincy and eventually his place in the squad as he became a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United last season � to congratulate him on his early season form for new club Everton.
Rooney has looked rejuvenated and happy � scoring in both their Premier League matches so far � since he re-signed for the club that nurtured his talent as a teenager before he left for United.
�It was great that 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,� said Rooney in a statement sent to Press Association Sport.
�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 (Ronald Koeman) and those closest to me.
�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.�
Rooney, England�s most capped outfield player ever, said his sole purpose now in football is to ensure Everton win trophies.
He had alluded to what his priority was in his post-match interview on Sky Sports on Monday after he joined Alan Shearer in scoring 200 Premier League goals � made sweeter as it came against Manchester United�s city rivals Manchester City.
�Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton,� said Rooney.
�Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful.� � AFP