Is it time for Wayne Rooney to retire?

Published: October 11, 2016
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The 31-year-old has already confirmed he will retire from international duty after the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but the question is – with his rapidly declining form- will he even be selected to participate in the tournament. PHOTO: GETTY

I have no qualms in admitting that there have only been two players ever that I have feared facing as an opponent going into a Liverpool match. One of them was the Welsh wizard, Gareth Bale from his Tottenham Hotspur days and the other is a certain Wayne Mark Rooney.

Wayne Mark Rooney (left) and Gareth Bale (right)

The golden boy of English football, he was a footballing force of nature during his peak. Rooney wasn’t just all pace or power like an archetypal English player, he also had the technique and flair of a Brazilian footballer and his presence as the poster child for Nike’s Joga Bonito campaign prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup should attest to the fact.

But that was then and what happened on Saturday night at Wembley is now.

While The Three Lions started another new era with interim manager Gareth Southgate opening his account against 176th ranked Malta, it seemed like a long-winded end for his captain Wayne Rooney.

Rooney didn’t just face the embarrassment of being nutmegged in the first half by the Maltese right back he also had to suffer the humiliation of being booed by his own fans when he shot wildly off target near the end of the match.