England's highest goalscorer Wayne Rooney on Wednesday turning down his chances to be a part of the national team for World Cup qualifiers, announced his retirement from international football.
Evertone English striker Rooney was called by manager Gareth Southgate to be a part of the national team for matches against Malta and Slovakia.
"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," Rooney said in his statement to Press Association Sport.
"Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out," said the 31-year-old striker.
Former captain of Manchester United, Rooney scored 53 goals in 119 appearances for his country. He made his England debut against Australia in 2003 in which his team lost by 3-1.
Rooney was overlooked for matches against Scotland and France in June after losing 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.
"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.
Rooney, England's most capped outfield player ever, said his sole purpose now in football was to ensure Everton won 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."
(With PTI inputs)