Skip to main content

Carragher endorses Rooney's England retirement

Jamie Carragher has welcomed Wayne Rooney's decision to retire from international football and defended the striker's disappointing major tournament record.

On Wednesday, Rooney announced he will no longer make himself available for England as he seeks to focus on his club career, the 31-year-old having returned to Everton from Manchester United last month.

Despite serving as national team captain since succeeding Steven Gerrard in 2014, Rooney's last England appearance was in November 2016.

And his former international team-mate Carragher, who stepped away from England duty in 2010, believes the time was right for the country's all-time leading scorer to make way. 

"It probably stops all the questions to himself… and to manager Gareth Southgate," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"I also think it is great for Everton as well.

"He has gone back to Everton and I'm sure over the next two or three years he will want to make a big mark there in terms of helping Everton challenge for the top four and maybe winning a trophy or two. This gives them a great opportunity to do that.

"I think it's a great decision for everyone, even England really. They have got younger players coming through with Southgate heading towards the World Cup. He gets to mould his own team and I think it works for everyone."

See more

Only Peter Shilton has more caps than Rooney, who should be considered one of the best Three Lions players of recent times, according to Carragher.

"There's no doubt he has been one of, if not the best England player of his generation," he said.

"Maybe Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard would also be in that group, but he is England's top goalscorer.

"In his time England have not had a great tournament that you could look back on in the way that England players of Euro 96 or the World Cup in 1990 can.

"That has been missing for Wayne but that comes from all of us who were involved over that time. We didn't do enough as a squad."