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Wayne Rooney to quit international football after Russia 2018


England's striker Wayne Rooney / AFP PHOTO / Ian Kington

England’s striker Wayne Rooney<br />/ AFP PHOTO / Ian Kington

Wayne Rooney has announced he intends to draw his international career to a close following the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

New England boss Sam Allardyce confirmed on Monday that Rooney will continue as captain of the national side after he was initially given the armband by predecessor Roy Hodgson.

Having already become England’s all-time leading goalscorer, Rooney is set to pick up his 116th cap in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Slovakia to move clear as the most-capped outfield player for his country.

But the Manchester United man has declared he knows when he wants to bring down the curtain on his England career, which began with a debut against Australia at Upton Park in 2003.

Speaking for the first time since his captaincy under Allardyce was announced, the 30-year-old said he hopes to lead England to the World Cup and then call it a day, having already turned out for his country at six finals.

“Realistically I know Russia will be my last opportunity to do anything with England so I am going to try and enjoy these two years and then hopefully I can end my time with England on a high,” he said.

“I have had a fantastic international career, played a lot of games and I’ve enjoyed every minute but at some point it has got to come to an end. I’m not old – I’m 30 years of age – and come Russia, I feel that would be the right time for me to say goodbye to international football.

“My mind is made up – obviously that is down to Sam Allardyce again in terms of over the next two years – but that will be my last tournament if selected. I’ve enjoyed some highs and some lows but I am an immensely proud man.”

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