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Ogden: Rooney's smart England exit


Wayne Rooney right to walk away from England instead of being forced out

Relive the goal that put Wayne Rooney atop England's record books as he surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's goal record.
ESPN FC's Mark Ogden feels that while Rooney will go down as an England legend, his retirement makes life easier for Southgate.

Wayne Rooney had earmarked the 2018 World Cup in Russia as his international swansong but time ran out for the former England captain long before his confirmation on Wednesday that he will not play for his country again.

With two goals in two Premier League games for Everton since returning to his boyhood club from Manchester United this summer, Rooney had put himself on the brink of a remarkable return to the England fold for next month's World Cup qualifiers after seemingly being cast aside...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Rooney falls short for England but record breaker commands respect

Relive the goal that put Wayne Rooney atop England's record books as he surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's goal record.
ESPN FC's Mark Ogden feels that while Rooney will go down as an England legend, his retirement makes life easier for Southgate.
Paul Mariner says Ronald Koeman has worked wonders in getting Wayne Rooney in positions to succeed on the pitch.

This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on ESPN FC in September 2015.

England's Wayne Rooney retires from international football a history-maker, scoring 53 goals for his country.

His record, reached when he scored against Switzerland at Wembley in 2015, was the culmination of a career that began with such great promise as a teenage prodigy at Everton. Now back at his boyhood club after breaking the all-time Manchester United scoring record last season, Rooney -- 

 By Tim Vickery

Uruguay-Argentina 2030 World Cup bid has promise but faces hurdles

Argentine president Mauricio Macri and Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez will stage an event on Aug. 30 to launch their bid for the 2030 World Cup.

It is about to be made official. Next week, Uruguay and Argentina will announce their wish to host the 2030 World Cup and thus celebrate the centenary of the tournament.

The World Cup was first held in 1930, with hosts Uruguay defeating the River Plate neighbours Argentina in the final. Just 13 teams partook in a competition that was restricted to Montevideo, Uruguay's only large city.

The size of the country clearly rules out any thought of going alone to stage a contemporary World Cup, hence...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neymar dominates Toulouse to top first Player Power Rankings of 2017-18

Neymar's brace and two assists in his PSG home debut earned him the top spot in this week's power rankings.
After another impressive match, Jonathan Johnson reflects on the excitement and dynamism Neymar has brought to PSG.

ESPN FC's worldwide editorial desks nominate their top performers from the weekend's action, and the results are collated into a top 10. This is Player Power Rankings.

1. Neymar | Paris Saint-Germain

Why he's here: Neymar scored two, assisted on another two and dazzled the crowd in his Parc des Princes debut, a 6-2 win over Toulouse.

2. Marcos Alonso | Chelsea

Why he's here: Why he's here: Alonso's stunning free kick and a last-gasp goal earned Chelsea all three points in a 3-2 victory over...

Chelsea encouraged, Neymar stars, Ramos sees red, Arsenal's bad day

Steve Nicol is full of praise for Chelsea after their win at Wembley, but says Tottenham deserved something from the match.

The simple conclusion to draw from Sunday's clash between Tottenham and Chelsea is that, when you strip away the grumblings over transfers, the text messages to unwanted strikers and perhaps the garish blue training kit (in a sport marked by superstition, his return to the suit did not go unnoticed), Antonio Conte is a darn fine tactician and motivator, who can set up with the best of them.

After taking it on the chin at home against Burnley on opening day, he traveled to Wembley to face Mauricio...

 By Nick Miller

How the Premier League has evolved in 25 years to become what it is today

As the 25th anniversary of the Premier League nears, the FC crew discuss how the league has changed over a quarter century.

A quarter of a century ago, a new era of English football began. At the time, only a few things about the newly minted Premier League looked different: more TV cameras, some referees wore green rather than black, and the new backpass rule meant the sight of goalkeepers panicking at having to control the ball brought a few laughs.

But one thing really stood out: the hype. After Sky Sports arrived and started to sell football as almost a lifestyle choice rather than simply a sport, suddenly it was...