Football: Wayne Rooney to make special England farewell appearance against US

Wayne Rooney has not played international football for nearly two years. But he will wear the Three Lions shirt one last time for the friendly at Wembley on Nov 15, 2018.
Wayne Rooney has not played international football for nearly two years. But he will wear the Three Lions shirt one last time for the friendly at Wembley on Nov 15, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS/ACTION IMAGES

LONDON (AFP) - Wayne Rooney is to come out of England retirement for a final one-off appearance against the United States in an international friendly at Wembley this month, the Football Association announced on Sunday (Nov 4).

Rooney, a record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England, has not played international football for nearly two years.

But the 33-year-old, now based in the United States where he plays for Major League Soccer side DC United in Washington, will wear the Three Lions shirt one last time for the Wembley fixture on Nov 15.

The match will be called The Wayne Rooney Foundation International in support of the striker's charity aiding disadvantaged children, with England manager Gareth Southgate naming the 33-year-old in his squad.

"I am truly humbled and hugely excited to play for England at Wembley again," said Rooney in a statement issued by the FA that billed the game as his "final England appearance".

"I would like to thank Gareth Southgate and The FA for inviting me back and helping to support my Foundation in the process."

The FA added the match would give the Wembley crowd the "chance to show their appreciation of one of England's greats as the curtain comes down on a glittering Three Lions career that spanned three Fifa World Cups and three Uefa European Championships".

Former Everton and United forward Rooney scored 53 goals in 119 England appearances - the most by any outfield player - prior to announcing his retirement from international football in August 2017.

He has scored 12 times for DC United since he joined them after the end of the last English season, following a second spell at boyhood club Everton, and helped them climb from the bottom of the league ladder to the play-offs. DC lost to Columbus Crew 3-2 in a shoot-out in the opening round on Thursday, with Rooney missing one penalty.