Rooney: I will never quit England


Published: Sunday 16th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Wayne Rooney has no intention of ever calling time on his England career – a decision borne out of passion, pride and the wise words of wife, Coleen.

The 29-year-old became the youngest player to rack up 100 Three Lions appearances on Saturday, scoring from the penalty spot as Slovenia were seen off 3-1 in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley.

Becoming England’s ninth centurion is likely to be the first of many milestones for Rooney in what is almost certain to be a record-breaking few years.

Peter Shilton’s haul of 125 caps and Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record of 49 looks well within the forward’s reach, especially as there appears no immediate end in sight.

The likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley may have recently called time on their international career, but Rooney cannot foresee voluntarily stepping away from England.

“A lot of the players I have played with other the last 10 years – Steven, Frank, Ashley, Rio – have retired from internationals,” he said.

“I actually spoke to my wife about it, I said it’s mad how all the players are retiring.

“When you get to a certain age, you almost feel like you have to do it, to extend your club career, but she was actually very good.

“She was the one who said to me: ‘It’s a short career, you have got plenty of time to have your time off with us as a family when you finish playing and you will regret it if you do (retire from internationals)’.

“I obviously thought ‘yes, I would’. Football is what I love doing. Playing for my country I love, I would regret it. I don’t think I ever would walk away.”

Rooney knows the desire to carry on will mean he will have to reinvent himself like Ryan Giggs – “I always believe I have the quality to play different roles,” the forward said – and hopes that will help him gain selection for the World Cup four years from now.

The forward is not just looking ahead to Russia, though, as on the horizon is the mouth-watering prospect of Euro 2020 culminating at Wembley.

“I think that would be a tough one but I hope I can (be there),” Rooney said of the tournament he would enter aged 34.

“I certainly want to be playing at the next World Cup, that’s for sure, and obviously, depending on how I am playing and whether the manager picks me, I go on if selected.”

By 2020, we may well have started to hear noises about the development of another Rooney.

While the forward admits his eldest, Kai, is not too bothered about football, the same does not apply to Klay.

Only one-and-a-half years old, he is already “obsessed” with the game and urging his dad to stay out kicking the ball around longer in the garden.

Rooney has been so taken aback by his son’s skill set that he has even had to rethink the nature versus nurture debate.

“I always thought you have to work at it, but obviously I’ve now seen my youngest lad and from the minute he was born he wanted the ball,” he said.

“It’s incredible to watch him. He’s just over one and a half and without any teaching his technique was unbelievable.

“Then I started thinking you must be born with something. Then it’s obviously how you use it, how you work on it when you get older.

“Before that I would have said it was something you work on and pick up and learn.

“I was exactly the same, since I was that age. My parents have told me that’s all I wanted to do and so he must take after me in that way.”

Published: Sunday 16th November 2014 by The News Editor

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