Southgate confirms Rooney will remain retired for World Cup

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Wayne Rooney seems to have found some semblance of his former self at Everton of late, but it won’t leave his national team manager begging for him to come back with the 2018 World Cup on the horizon.

England boss Gareth Southgate confirmed that Rooney will not make a ceremonious return to the national team, meaning he will stay retired for the 2018 World Cup. England was drawn out of Pot 2 into Group G alongside Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia.

“I think Wayne made his decision clear, his decision to retire,” Southgate told the BBC. “We were looking at bringing him into the squad in September much for his value as a senior player as anything else.

“But we’ve now moved forward, evolved as a squad in the last three months and our feeling now is that it’s important for the younger players to gain that experience rather than look back at a younger player.”

Rooney scored a hat-trick in Everton’s 4-0 win over West Ham, hitting his third from inside the Toffees’ own half.

The 32-year-old last played for the national team on November 11th, 2016 in a 3-0 win over Scotland in World Cup qualifying. Since, Harry Kane has earned most of the time up front for the England national team, while Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli, and Adam Lallana have been saddled with much of the creative duties.