A bad fortnight for the Wayne Rooney Global Haters’ Network took a turn for the worse on Wednesday, with the striker’s decision to retire from international football prompting a wave of appreciation to complement the warm, fuzzy feelings generated by
his Everton renaissance.
He bowed out with a modest, heartfelt statement and a leaves behind a record that will surely stick around for a while yet: 53 goals in 119 appearances for the Three Lions.
“It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me,” wrote the artist formerly known as Wazza.
“Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me. But I believe now is the time to bow out.
“I will always remain a passionate England fan. One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side. Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team.
“One day the dream will come true and I look forward to being there as a fan – or in any capacity.”
Do you really mean that “any”, Wayne? Because using the retired Rooney as chief mascot for every single game (just imagine him, walking onto the pitch hand-in-hand with Gary Cahill or whoever) would surely confer the kind of psychological advantage for which England have long been crying out.