Ronald Koeman: Wayne Rooney’s international retirement good for Everton


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Ronald Koeman believes Everton will reap the rewards of Wayne Rooney’s decision to retire from international football.

England’s record goalscorer announced his decision to bring his 14-year Three Lions career to an end on Wednesday, having scored 53 goals in 119 appearances.

The 31-year-old had not featured since the 3-0 victory over Scotland in November last year, however following his impressive start to the season, boss Gareth Southgate wanted to recall him for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

However, Rooney decided to decline Southgate’s offer and he has now announced his international retirement, as he wishes to concentrate on his club career with Everton.

Toffees boss Koeman was certainly pleased with Rooney’s decision as he believes the extra rest will allow the forward to produce his best form on a regular basis.

Koeman said: “He had a talk with the national coach and made his decision because he thinks it is the best for Everton. It is always the player’s decision and, of course, I respect that.

“I think it is a good decision for him and a good decision for Everton. It means when the internationals come, he will have some time at home with his family.”

England take on Malta at the Ta’Qali National Stadium on September 1.

The Three Lions are currently two points clear of Slovakia at the top of their World Cup qualifying group and they are priced at 21.00 to go all the way and win the tournament in Russia next summer.

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