England's all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney announced on Wednesday he is retiring from international football after turning down the chance to be part of the squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers.

The 31-year-old, scorer of 53 goals in 119 appearances for his country, told England manager Gareth Southgate of his decision during a phone conversation.

"Having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football," said Rooney in a statement sent to Press Association Sport.

"Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out," he said.

Rooney made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, and his last international appearance was as captain in last November's 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.