Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

'I'm not making any demands': Wayne Rooney on his England farewell

'I'm not making any demands': Wayne Rooney on his England farewell

England's all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney says it will be "strange" playing at Wembley in his farewell appearance for the country.

Rooney, 33, will make his 120th and final appearance for England against the US men's national team at Wembley on Thursday, in a fixture renamed the "Wayne Rooney Foundation International" as he is expected to come on as a second half sub. "The money will be raised for children's charities, which I think is really important", Rooney said. This is the first time and I hope that in 10 or 15 years time we're sat here for someone, say Harry Kane, who could possibly go on and get the goalscoring record and it'll be something which will happen again'. It was nice to see them and the staff, and the reception they gave me was fantastic.

"My decision to retire was the right decision", Rooney said.

"My form has been good in the States and if I got called up because of that then it would be a different situation, but this will be my last game".

Rooney's season in America came to an end with defeat in the MLS play-off but he has ruled out a return to Europe in the off-season and said he plans to finish his career in America.

A year after announcing his retirement from the global game (as England's all-time leading goalscorer with 53 goals), Rooney has been granted an opportunity to say thanks to the England fans by current boss Gareth Southgate and the FA. It will be my last game.

"No, I think I made the decision to obviously go to the States and I intend to stick with that", he said. "Obviously I've seen talk of a loan move back here and that's something I'm not prepared to do".

This summer, without Rooney, England achieved their best showing at a World Cup by reaching the semi-finals out the tournament in Russian Federation before suffering a semi-final defeat in extra time against Croatia.

Such a notion underscores that Rooney, throughout his England career, was mismanaged on a fundamental as well as tactical level for too long.

ESPN FC's Brian McBride has no problem with England's decision to add Wayne Rooney to the roster and feels the decision won't hinder younger players.

Rooney insisted he has no regrets on retiring from global football a year before the World Cup, but admitted even he was surprised at how quickly Southgate's squad matured into contenders to be world champions.

'It's a huge honour in your career - probably the biggest honour you can have, to play for your country and represent them in a major tournament, so enjoy it. "Probably the best honour you can have", said when asked to give advice to the current squad. Personally I didn't think it was right to get in the way of that.

On Southgate, he added: "He's fearless". To be fair to Gareth, he's done that.

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