The captain of the Manchester United, Wayne Rooney announced that his mind is made up to retire from 15-year career as an international footballer after England’s World Cup 2018 campaign.
Speaking to the media for the first time since he was retained as captain by the new England manager, Sam Allardyce, the 30-year old said the tournament would be his last.
“Come Russia , I feel that will be the time to say goodbye to international football. My mind is made up. 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 32 by the next tournament.
“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.”
According to BBC, if Rooney plays in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Slovakia (17:00 BST kick-off), he will break David Beckham’s record for the most capped outfield England player.
During the press conference, the former Everton striker expresses optimism under the new management despite England’s dismal Euro 2016 second round defeat by Iceland.
“We have to move on. You can’t just forget it (Euro 2016) but it’s a new era for us. A new manager.
“I seem to say that after every tournament. We have to work out how we can go one step further in tournament play.
“I’m looking forward to this new regime. I’m excited by the players involved at the moment and, although there have been questions about my future, I said straight after the Euros that I wanted to still be involved.
“When Sam got the job, I made that clear to him and here we are.
“Sam is a relaxed guy. The camp has been good, we have only had one session, but we are all excited about what ideas he can bring to us.”
The England team have not lost a qualifier since 2009, going unbeaten to reach Euro 2012, the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016. However, they have not won a tournament knockout game since the 2006 World Cup. Rooney believes the new coach can exert the talent and ability among the England national team players and find out why team ‘keep tripping up’.