Rooney to quit England duty in 2018

30 Aug

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Rooney to retire from England duty in 2018

England record goalscorer Wayne Rooney will retire from international football after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Manchester United forward was speaking to the media for the first time since new England manager Sam Allardyce confirmed he would keep the 30-year-old as his captain.

“Come Russia I feel that will be the time to say goodbye to international football,” said Rooney, who has scored 53 goals in 115 England appearances.

“My mind is made up.”

He continued: “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.

“I’ve had a fantastic international career so far. I’ve enjoyed every minute.”

If he 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.

“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.”

Rooney has not yet discussed with Allardyce what position he will play.

He was a midfielder during Euro 2016 under Roy Hodgson, who left his post after the shock last-16 exit to Iceland.

Under new United boss Jose Mourinho this season, he has played behind the striker – which is where Allardyce has told the media Rooney will play for England.

“Obviously it’s the manager’s decision,” said Rooney. “We haven’t really spoken about it – we will in the next couple of days. I’m ready to play whether it’s midfield, number 10 or striker.”

Rooney has backed former Bolton, West Ham and Sunderland boss Allardyce to help England achieve more at international tournaments.

England 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.

“If he gets the best out of our players, then he’ll do well,” said Rooney.

“The ability and talent is there. It’s just a matter of us doing well in a tournament. We are a small margin away.

“He’ll want to find out why we keep tripping up. The managers and players haven’t found out why, but Sam will try to find out why it’s happening.

“We’ve seen a lot of teams overachieve with him as manager. That’s down to the way he’s got them playing. Hopefully he can do the same with us.”

Antonio approached by Jamaica

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Antonio thought England call was ‘banter’

West Ham’s uncapped West Ham winger Michail Antonio said he thought news of his England call-up was just “banter” with club staff.

The former non-league player said he was “very modest” and “very grateful”, but revealed that he turned down an approach to play for Jamaica.

The 26-year-old said: “At the time I believed/hoped I would get an opportunity for England. I pushed myself and worked hard and now I am here.”

“Going from non-league to Premier League is a nice story.

“I was a lifeguard, I had to do an hour a night at a community college, it was one of the most boring jobs. I sat by a pool and watched people swim up and down.”

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