Antonio Conte Disappointed with Wayne Rooney’s International Retirement

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed that he is disappointed with England striker Wayne Rooney deciding to end his international career.

After a spell on the wilderness, manager Gareth Southgate was about to include Rooney for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers. However, Conte was left surprised when Rooney decided to end his international career as the most decorated player for England. He is the record goalscorer for the national team, and he claimed that he wants to focus on his career at Everton going forward. Rooney made the return to Goodison Park in the summer on a free transfer with Romelu Lukaku going the other way.

Since his return, Rooney has made an instant impact after scoring in the opening two matches. They have been a major factor in helping Everton make a strong start to the season, while it is also believed to be the key factor behind Gareth Southgate thinking about a recall. Rooney had not featured much of the national team since Southgate was appointed as the permanent replacement for Sam Allardyce.

Conte says that it is a disappointment that great players like Rooney decided to be with their international careers in order to focus on club football. Conte having the chance to meet Rooney during the weekend when Everton visit Stamford Bridge.

“Honestly, it's a pity when there is this type of retirement. When great players are an icon, for football in general, like him and he decides to retire. But I think, before taking this decision, he thought a lot. And then he took this decision. We have to respect his decision. Now, Everton... now he's totally committed to Everton and I think Ronald Koeman will be very happy with this.He's playing very well. Also yesterday, I watched the game (Hadjuk Split v Everton in Europa League) and he ran a lot from the start to the end,” said Conte.