Wayne Rooney set to return for farewell England appearance at Wembley against USA next week

England's all-time leading goalscorer will retire just five caps short of Peter Shilton's record

Tom Kershaw
Sunday 04 November 2018 13:18
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Gareth Southgate on Wayne Rooney's international retirement

The FA have announced that Wayne Rooney is set to come out of international retirement for a farewell appearance on 15 November when England host the United States in a friendly at Wembley Stadium.

It will be the England all-time leading goalscorer's 120th cap for his country, taking him to just five short of Peter Shilton's record.

Part of the proceeds from the friendly will go towards the Wayne Rooney Foundation which aids children suffering from health and abuse issues and facing educational challenges.

Upon the FA's announcement, Rooney said: “I am truly humbled and hugely excited to play for England at Wembley again. I would like to thank Gareth Southgate and The FA for inviting me back and helping to support my Foundation in the process.

“Playing for England was the greatest honour of my career – so winning my 120th, and final, cap will be a particularly special moment for me. It’s fitting that the match will be against the USA and I hope that both sets of fans enjoy the game."

"I have been hugely impressed with the progress of this young England team. I hope that whilst I am with the squad I can pass on some of my experience. Trying to help others is a particular focus of mine now through my Foundation. I was lucky to enjoy a long and successful career with a great many people helping me to achieve my dreams. The Foundation allows me to give something back to four charities, all of whom do hugely important work."

Gareth Southgate also spoke on the importance of honouring the legacy of the national side's former players as well as supporting initiatives such as the Wayne Rooney foundation.

The match will be played on 15 November

"The connection between The FA and former England players is something that has always been very important to me," Southgate said. "Acknowledging the Three Lions legacy has been a major part of our journey with this current group of young players and Wayne Rooney is a hugely significant part of that history.

"This tribute to Wayne is a unique opportunity that is befitting of our nation’s record goal-scorer. We’re fortunate that circumstances have allowed us to formally acknowledge Wayne’s immense contribution to England in front of the Wembley crowd and against apt opponents given the recent impact he has made in MLS."

Rooney has sparked into a second-coming since leaving boyhood club Everton to join DC United in the MLS. Upon his arrival, the side were bottom of the league but the 33-year-old's contribution of twelve goals and seven assists in 21 games pushed them into an unlikely play-off position.

However, DC United were knocked out in the first round of the post-season competition on penalties by Columbus Crew as Rooney missing a decisive spot-kick.

The friendly will take place three days before Gareth Southgate's side face Croatia in the final match of the Uefa Nations League on 18 November, which Rooney will not be considered for.

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