LONDON (Reuters) – Wayne Rooney’s retirement from the England national team is the best choice for both the player and Everton as it allows the 31-year-old more time to recover his fitness during a busy domestic schedule, his club’s manager Ronald Koeman has said.
Rooney, who rejoined Everton from Manchester United in July, ended his 14-year England career when the country’s all-time leading scorer announced his international retirement on Wednesday.
“He had a talk with the national coach and made his decision, because he thinks it is the best for Everton,” Koeman told reporters. “It is always the player’s decision and, of course, I respect that.
“If you reach the group stage of the Europa League and have international duty, then that is a really tough programme.
“His fitness is really good at the moment. 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.”
Koeman, who earned 78 caps for the Netherlands as a player, also said that he did not advise Rooney, who scored 53 goals for England, on his decision to retire.