Wayne Rooney has decided to call time on his international career in order to focus his efforts on producing his best form for Everton.
Over the course of 13 years Rooney won 119 caps for England and become his country’s record goalscorer with 52 goals.
And we’ve looked back at the England team – or rather two teams, given Sven Goran Eriksson made 11 changes at half-time – which took to the field for Rooney’s international debut, which came in a 3-1 defeat to Australia at Upton Park in February 2003.
James had a somewhat nomadic playing career at club level, representing 10 different clubs, but was a regular in the England set-up, winning 53 caps .
The former goalkeeper is now a coach and pundit, with his last role as player-manager of Kerala Blasters FC in Indian Super League.
Team-mates for seven years at Manchester United and four with England, only this week Neville was talking up Rooney’s chances with the national team, telling Sky Sports in his role as a pundit: “Rooney is fearless when it comes to big matches, he is fearless when it comes to big moments.”
Like Neville, Ferdinand was one of the mainstays of Rooney’s Manchester United and England careers.
Like Neville, he was also talking up a Three Lions recall for his former team-mate in his role as a pundit.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) August 21, 2017
Campbell became more accustomed to facing Rooney as an opponent rather than a team-mate after being phased out of the England side following Euro 2004 at a time when Manchester United and Arsenal were regularly locked in fierce battles.
He is now known more for being a vocal Tory supporter than he is the assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team.
One of only three players on this list still playing professional football, Cole was England’s first-choice left-back throughout the majority of Rooney’s time in the national set-up, winning 107 caps.
In 2012 Rooney even said that he would “take a bullet” for Cole, who continues to play for LA Galaxy in the MLS.
To be honest, it’s hard to describe what Beckham does these days. Lots of charity works, lots of being one of the most recognisable faces on the planet.
Perhaps Rooney was thinking about his former captain’s words of advice when he decided to call it a day.
So tonight Wayne becomes England’s most capped outfield player… I keep hearing some people say Wayne should stop playing for his country to prolong his club career… Seriously?… As a player you retire when you’re ready. Representing your country is the highest level anyone can reach, walking out in an England shirt at Wembley is one of the greatest feelings you can ever have… Every kid around the world that loves this game dreams of playing in their national team colours and representing the country they love… Don’t let anyone take that away from you, continue until you can’t give anymore… Congratulations mate ?? @manchesterunited @england
While playing together for England and being two of the main faces of the ‘Golden Generation’, Lampard and Rooney were often at the heart of the ferocious tussles between Chelsea and Manchester United over the last decade.
After hanging up his boots earlier this year, Lampard is now making a career out of being one of the most articulate pundits around.
Rooney had the pleasure of playing in front of Scholes for eight years at Manchester United, but they only overlapped in an England shirt for one year before the midfielder decided to focus on his club career.
Despite spending a career trying to stay out of the limelight, Scholes is among the long line of players to turn their hand to media duties.
Dyer was one of a number of players who England hoped would be able to solve the problem position on the left wing, only for injuries to seriously curtail his career.
Still, he finished fourth the 2015 edition of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, donating his entire fee to charity.
We liked Beattie. We liked the way he turned his back on penalties before taken a swift run up and just smashing the ball into the back of the net. We like that he scored lots of goals for Southampton in the early-noughties. We don’t like that he got headbutted by a naked Tony Pulis at Stoke. Nobody deserves that.
Anyway, what we’re trying to say is that he is now one of Garry Monk’s trust lieutenants having followed the manager from Leeds to Middlesbrough to take up a coaching role.
Oh, what could have been. Euro 2004 offered a tantilising glimpse into what could have been a scarily good England strike force, only for injuries to both players to mean it never really happened.
As a former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United striker, Owen is now a pundit, obviously.
Robinson eventually became England’s No.1 and was the first-choice at the 2006 World Cup before falling completely out of the picture following the dismal Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
Remarkably he made a return to the Premier League with Burnley last season but called time on his career in the summer.
Mills played largely second fiddle for England due to the dominance of Gary Neville at right-back but was first choice at the 2002 World Cup courtesy of the Manchester United man’s injury.
The former Leeds and Manchester City defender is now making a name as one of the grumpiest pundits around.
After being relegated from the Championship with Blackburn Rovers last season, Brown enjoyed a summer holiday with Rooney before joining former Manchester Untied coach Rene Meulensteen at Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters
A player who would have been more than capable of challenging Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and John Terry for a starting spot in the centre of England’s defence were it not for injuries.
The Tottenham hero is now in the process of completing his coaches badges, with a role at Spurs sure to beckon.
Konchesky won two caps for England but now finds himself playing non-league football at Billericay Town under an owner who has appointed himself manager and makes his players sing R Kelly in the dressing room as a motivational tool.
Another case of ‘what might have been’. Hargreaves was arguably England’s best player at the 2006 World Cup, but chronic injuries problems curtailed his career just as he began to establish himself in the starting XI.
Yes, he’s another pundit now.
Decent Premier League midfielder.
Decent Premier League midfielder.
Vassell’s England career would end as he replaced the injured Rooney and went on to miss the decisive spot-kick as England were knocked out of Euro 2004 by Portugal.
After retiring at the age of 32, Vassell is now throwing his support behind GCSportscare, a service set up by former Aston Villa defender Gary Charles which helps players deal with issues such as depression, alcohol or drug dependency, gambling, burn-out. low self esteem and relationship complications. Good man.
Playing up front alongside Rooney in the second half, Jeffers scored England’s only goal in the 3-1 defeat.
A warning of what can happen to promising young players, Jeffers never fulfilled his potential but is now back at his first club, Everton, as a specialist striker coach in the academy.
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