Former England captain Alan Shearer has encouraged Wayne Rooney to retire from international football for the long-term benefit of his Manchester United career.
The 30-year-old is England’s all-time record goalscorer and set to become the country’s most-capped outfield player after being named in Sam Allardyce’s squad for the World Cup qualifier in Slovakia on Sunday.
Rooney, who has captained his country since the 2014 World Cup, has been listed as a midfielder by Allardyce – where he played during England’s failed Euro 2016 campaign – and is no longer an automatic selection.
He is still a key player for Manchester United and Shearer believes he should call time on England to prolong his career in club football.
“It is time for Rooney to be selfish and start thinking just about himself,” Shearer wrote in his column in The Sun. “And that, I really regret to say, means his retirement from international football.
“I don’t say this in the belief that he is no longer good enough for England – he is. But he is 30 now and captaining your club and country, satisfying the demand to play at the top level for both, gets harder.
“I retired in 2000 aged 29. Much of that was down to three serious injuries. Some people said I was being selfish. I knew my body better than anyone and simply could not do it any more for club and country.
“If I had gone on there would have come a time when I would have been dropped because I couldn’t satisfy the physical demands. So I decided to cut my England career short to avoid that day and also so I could give my best to Newcastle.
“I played on until I was almost 36 and would not have been able to do that had I played any longer for England.
“It is time for him to acknowledge that he simply can’t keep doing both – and I mean that for his own good.”