Shearer says: “It was a decision which I had many sleepless nights over”
The Premier League legend shares his thoughts on Wayne Rooney’s England retirement
I was slightly surprised when I first heard the news about Wayne Rooney’s international retirement because when he spoke last summer he said he hoped to go all the way through to Russia next year.
When you look at it though he’s just had the summer off, has come back looking fresh for Everton and has made a good start to the new campaign.
I’m sure Wayne would have gone through a very similar thought-process to mine as he comes to the later stage of his career.
You realise it gets harder when you get in your 30s to maintain the same levels of performance. The travelling around the world, the demands you have to put on your body and the lack of break between seasons all take their toll, mentally and physically.
I know he has not had many serious injuries but I just felt when I was making the decision, that in order to prolong my club career, it was very difficult to do both jobs for club and country.
Even when you know it is the right thing to do, it is such a difficult decision to make and one that I thought long and hard about over many sleepless nights. I know how passionate he was about playing for England and being named captain of his country was the best thing that has happened in his career.
To walk away from all of that is tough and not something you do lightly. I do think it is the right move for him though and hopefully it will help him prolong his career at Everton.
When you look back at how far Wayne has come – captaining his country and becoming the all-time leading goalscorer, I don’t think anybody can say he has not had a great England career.
I know there were big expectations of him going into a lot of major tournaments. In 2004 when he first broke onto the scene, he was absolutely magnificent but whether it was because he did not have great players around him or bad luck, it just didn’t quite happen for the national team during his spell with them.
He wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last to say what he said in his statement earlier in the week that he wished he could have won something with England.
I still think Wayne is good enough to play at the highest level and has a lot to offer Everton. He will benefit from not having to travel around the world. When England are playing away he will be sat at home having a couple of days off and resting.
It was great to see Wayne join the 200 club in the Premier League last weekend. I tweeted him to congratulate him on his achievement and tell him how lonely it had been in the club!
He thoroughly deserves it. I am sure he probably has half of an eye on that 260 mark and after retiring from international football, who knows how long he can go on for?
I am enjoying having the record and I am sure it will be broken one day. If it is going to be broken then who better to do it than Wayne Rooney.
What do you think of Rooney’s England retirement? Do you think he’s best player our country has ever produced? Share your thoughts in the comments section!