Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Former England skipper Wayne Rooney rules out international return

Wayne Rooney will not be tempted out of international retirement for one more shot at World Cup glory.

The former England captain, who on Friday was charged with drink driving, called time on his international career in August.

England's record goalscorer said "now is the time to bow out" after scoring 53 goals in 119 games for his country and taking part in three World Cups and three European Championships.

And not even the prospect of playing in this summer's World Cup in Russia would make the Everton forward go back on his decision.

"My mind's made up," he told talkSPORT.

"I've seen it a few times when players come out of retirement and gone to tournaments and it's not right.

"I think the lads now who are trying to qualify for Russia, if they get there they're the players who will deserve to play in the tournament, so my decision is made."

Rooney's three World Cup appearances all ended in heartache.

He was sent off during the 2006 quarter-final exit to Portugal, while 2010 ended in a second-round defeat to Germany and England failed to progress from their group in 2014.

During the 2010 competition, then England boss Fabio Capello and his coaches infuriated Rooney with their behaviour.

He said: "At the World Cup in South Africa, Fabio and his coaches were watching Italy play and they were jumping up and cheering when Italy scored and he's there as England manager. I don't think it was right but it didn't work and we moved on."

Rooney returned to boyhood club Everton in the summer, following a trophy-laden 13 years at Manchester United, where he became the club's all-time top goalscorer.

He began his second spell at Everton with goals in his first two Premier League games but controversy struck when he was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning and charged with drink driving.

Cheshire Police said he was released on bail and is due to appear at Stockport Magistrates' Court on September 18.

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