August 31- England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has announced he will retire from international football after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 30-year-old Manchester United striker made the announcement after being retained as captain by new England boss Sam Allardyce who faces his first game in charge against Slovakia on Sunday.
“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.”
“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.”
When he plays in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier, Rooney 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,” he said.
England have not lost a qualifier since 2009, going unbeaten to reach Euro 2012, the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016. However, when it matters most, they have not won a tournament knockout game since the 2006 World Cup.
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