Wayne Rooney has turned his attentions back to Everton after announcing his retirement from international football as the striker boarded the team’s flight to Crotia ahead of their game with Hajduk Split.
Ronald Koeman’s men, who take a 2-0 lead going into the Europa League play-off round second leg against the Croatian outfit, were snapped stepping onto their plane on Wednesday at the Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
Rooney, Michael Keane, Ashley Williams and youngsters Jordan Pickford, Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all seemed in high spirits on the eve of the clash.
Wayne Rooney and his Everton team-mates boarded their flight to Split on Wednesday
The Toffees striker called time on his stellar international career on Wednesday afternoon
Mason Holgate and Jordan Pickford share a joke as they board their flight to Croatia
Rooney called time on his stellar England career on Wednesday afternoon ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.
In a written statement, Rooney said: ‘It was great that Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches. 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.
Defender Michael Keane appeared to be in high spirits at the Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Ashley Williams smiles for the camera as he steps onto the plane on Wednesday
‘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.’
The 31-year-old will now be fully focused on his Everton career as he aims to help the Toffees seal a place in the Europa League group stage draw with victory over Hajduk Split.
Goals from Keane and Idrissa Gueye at Goodison Park last week have given Everton a 2-0 advantage going into Thursday’s second leg in Split.
Following their 1-1 draw with Manchester City, Koeman will be confident that his side can progress to group stages of the European competition.
If they do advance, the Europa League group stage draw takes place on Friday in Monaco at 1pm (12pm BST).
Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be hoping for a starting spot against Hajduk Split on Thursday