London: Three Lions record goalscorer Rooney said: “Russia in 2018 will be my last opportunity to do anything with England. Hopefully I can end my time with England on a high.
“I’m ready to play whether midfield, No 10 or striker.
“Russia will be my last tournament. My mind’s made up. I’ve enjoyed some highs and some lows.”
The Manchester United man will be 32 years old after the tournament, and has dropped back to play in midfield for both club and country. Three Lions great Alan Shearer wrote in his SunSport column this week that he believes it is time for Rooney to retire from international football. Shearer was 29 himself when he called it a day on the Three Lions.
“It is time for Rooney to be selfish and start thinking just about himself. And that, I really regret to say, means his retirement from international football.
“I don’t say this in the belief that he is no longer good enough for England he is. But he is 30 now and captaining your club and country, satisfying the demand to play at the top level for both, gets harder.”
Wayne Rooney has now dropped back to play in midfield for Man United. New England boss Sam Allardyce said yesterday that Rooney would remain his skipper. Big Sam said: “You would hope the captain would make a decision on the pitch if he felt it needed to be made. For me, that’s the captain’s role. It’s a big responsibility at club level and even more so at international level. First and foremost lead by example.
“It’s all about the personality. Can you handle the responsibility of being captain? I think he Rooney has enjoyed the responsibility. Some players don’t want that responsibility.”
Allardyce added that he will now play Rooney in midfield for England. The manager said “Wayne’s position has changed at Manchester United and that is where I will play him.”
Rooney has made 115 appearances for the Three Lions – if he plays against Slovakia on Sunday in the opening 2018 World Cup qualifier he will break David Beckham’s record for the country’s most capped outfield player. He has netted a record 53 goals for England.