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Wayne Rooney set to end England career after 2018 World Cup in Russia

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 6:41 IST

England skipper Wayne Rooney on 30 August announced that he will retire from international football after the 2018 World Cup scheduled to be held in Russia.

"Realistically, I know myself that Russia will be my last opportunity to do anything with England. My mind is made up. Russia will be my last tournament," Rooney said during a press conference at St George's Park in Burton.

"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," the Manchester United star said.

Rooney's announcement comes a day after new England manager Sam Allardyce revealed that the 30-year-old will be kept on as captain for the World Cup qualifying campaign, slated to begin in Slovakia on 4 September.

If the England forward plays in the upcoming World Cup qualifier in Slovakia, he will be making his 116th international appearance which will break David Beckham's record for the country's most-capped outfield player.

Rooney was named captain for the England side in August, 2014. Having scored 53 goals, he is currently the leading goalscorer for England.

But despite goals galore, the England captain has never gone further than the quarterfinals in his six major tournament appearances for his country.

Rooney-led England also crashed out in the group stage of the last World Cup in Brazil two years ago. England were dealt a humiliating 1-2 defeat by minnows Iceland as the Roy Hodgson's side suffered one of the most stunning upsets in the history of the game.

"Hopefully I can end my time with England on a high. I said before the Euros, I enjoyed playing in this team, and that's the case still. There were some questions about whether I should stop playing (for England), but I am looking forward to getting back on the pitch.

I made my mind up before the Euros, whether we did well or not, that I was going to continue. I've had nothing to think about since then," Rooney concluded.

First published: 30 August 2016, 8:31 IST