Shortly after his debut in a friendly against Australia, a nimble footed 17-year-old Wayne Rooney got his first goal against Macedonia in September 2003, and with a slew of match winning performance, cemented his place in Euro 2004 English squad.
He had conquered club football in the meantime but kept us wanting for an enigmatic performance to take England to International Silverware.
He has been with England in three World Cup (WC) campaigns and two European Championships, with 119 caps and record 53 goals, more than any English player. Ever!
The international career spanning 14 years, just marginally lower than Peter Shilton with 125 international caps, Rooney has won 71 times, losing just 19 matches for England.
He has 1 goal and 1 red card in his WC campaigns with England. In European championships, he has scored 6 goals and has received 1 red card.
Rooney issued a statement to Press Association to confirm his retirement, with former Manchester United striker saying: “It was great that Gareth Southgate called, telling me that he wanted me back in the England squad. I really appreciated that.
“However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.
“It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.
“One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side.
“Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain, was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me.
“But I believe now is the time to bow out.
“Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton. Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful.
“I will always remain a passionate England fan.”
However, it doesn’t mean that he’s done with the game entirely! Stepping back from international play is certainly a smart move at this stage of his career; conserving his energy for league play is probably a wise move too, and if the relaxed Rooney we’ve seen so far this season (he already has two league goals in two matches) is something to take a cue from, we’ll be treated to more genuine moments of his genius in the years to come; albeit not in an England shirt.