Wayne Rooney has confirmed he will hang up his boots for England after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
It was confirmed yesterday that the 30-year-old would remain as captain of the national side under new boss Sam Allardyce.
Rooney received widespread derision from England supporters in the wake of England’s abject failure at Euro 2016, with many lambasting the striker for his muted performance in the defeat to Iceland.
The 30-year-old insisted he was relishing the opportunity to work under Allardyce, labelling the 2018 World Cup in Russia as his last opportunity to deliver on the international stage.
“I know Russia will be my last opportunity to do anything,” he said.
“I’m going to try and enjoy these two years and hopefully end my time with England on a high.
“I said before the Euros I enjoy playing in this team, I’m excited by the players and that’s the case still. I said as soon as the Euros finished that I wanted to continue and I made Sam aware of that when he got the job.
“He reiterated I would continue as captain. I was pleased. It’s nice to captain your country and I’m looking forward to the new regime.”
Alan Shearer recently made the bold claim that Rooney ought to retire from international football in the interest of consolidating his Manchester United career. Now, the majority of Shearer’s views are tenuous at best, but the former Newcastle striker is spot on.
A quick glance at the career paths of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes tells the story: Giggs retired in 2007 and went on to have seven excellent years at Old Trafford, whilst Scholes retired in 2004, paving the way for nine more prosperous years under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Amid the swathe of attacking talent now at Jose Mourinho’s disposal, Rooney’s decision to remain in the England side for two more years may return to haunt him. The strain of captaining the national side could further inhibit Rooney’s already fading abilities, leading to eventual anonymity within the ranks at Old Trafford.