Jamie Carragher has welcomed Wayne Rooney's decision to retire from international football and defended the striker's disappointing major tournament record.
On Wednesday, Rooney announced he will no longer make himself available for England as he seeks to focus on his club career, the 31-year-old having returned to Everton from Manchester United last month.
Despite serving as national team captain since succeeding Steven Gerrard in 2014, Rooney's last England appearance was in November 2016.
And his former international team-mate Carragher, who stepped away from England duty in 2010, believes the time was right for the country's all-time leading scorer to make way.
"It probably stops all the questions to himself… and to manager Gareth Southgate," Carragher told Sky Sports.
"I also think it is great for Everton as well.
"He has gone back to Everton and I'm sure over the next two or three years he will want to make a big mark there in terms of helping Everton challenge for the top four and maybe winning a trophy or two. This gives them a great opportunity to do that.
"I think it's a great decision for everyone, even England really. They have got younger players coming through with Southgate heading towards the World Cup. He gets to mould his own team and I think it works for everyone."
Only Peter Shilton has more caps than Rooney, who should be considered one of the best Three Lions players of recent times, according to Carragher.
"There's no doubt he has been one of, if not the best England player of his generation," he said.
"Maybe Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard would also be in that group, but he is England's top goalscorer.
"In his time England have not had a great tournament that you could look back on in the way that England players of Euro 96 or the World Cup in 1990 can.
"That has been missing for Wayne but that comes from all of us who were involved over that time. We didn't do enough as a squad."
|No Mendy for City amid knee injury fears|
|Ancelotti: Lewandowski will finish his career at Bayern|
|F1 Raceweek: The heat is on and there´s a dinosaur in the paddock|
|CSKA aim to find weaknesses in Mourinho´s ´strong´ squad|
|Tardelli ´expects more´ from Juventus star Dybala|
|Watford´s Chalobah set for knee surgery|
|Halep and Wozniacki crash out in Wuhan, Muguruza through|
|Barcelona are weaker without Neymar, says Jorge Jesus|
|Seeded Sousa succumbs in Shenzhen|
|US Justice Department charges college basketball assistants in bribery scheme|
|Muguruza charges into Wuhan last 16|
|Mkhitaryan vows to bring consistency to Manchester United|
|Lacazette ´more like Wright than Henry´ - Winterburn|
|Verratti hails ascent of PSG to Bayern´s level|
|Former Newcastle chairman Shepherd dies age 75|
|Mourinho: Lindelof will improve step by step|
|Kimmich eager to tackle Neymar challenge|
|Stokes arrest a distraction for England - Morgan|
|Emery hints at PSG penalty rotation|
|´Not many solutions´ for Man Utd after Fellaini injury, says Mourinho|
|England all-rounder Ben Stokes arrested in Bristol|
|Neymar set to return for PSG in Champions League clash against Bayern Munich|
|PSG´s home hope against Bayern as Griezmann carries Atletico - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Defending champion Pliskova battles through in Tashkent|
|Fabregas never thought about Chelsea exit|
|Gasly replaces Kvyat as Toro Rosso prepare for 2018 F1 season|
|Starke selection not a threat to Ulreich, claims Salihamidzic|
|Wallabies lock Coleman weighing up next move|
|Manchester City look unstoppable under Guardiola - Walker|
|Hitzfeld urges Bayern to stick with Ancelotti|
|Australia call up Tye for India T20 series|
|Las Palmas coach Manolo Marquez resigns after six LaLiga matches|
|Whiteley boost for Springboks|
|Fabregas: No pure striker better than Costa|
|Ancelotti will be measured on Champions League results, Ballack claims|
|Cowboys coach Green dismissed tiredness talk as ´a load of c**p´|
|Wenger bemoans ´cruel´ Arsenal schedule|
|Tianjin derby under investigation for possible match-fixing|
|Sharks dismiss Hayne speculation|
|Cubs clinch tie for NL Central title, deal blow to Cardinals´ play-off hopes|
|He said what?! The best NFL quotes from week three|
|Prescott ignites stagnant Cowboys offense in win over Cardinals|
|WATCH: Cubs´ Russell brings Cardinals fan fresh nachos after spilling into stands|
|Alonso announces move into management|
|Klopp considers starting ´artists´ against Spartak|
|Lacazette not just a goalscorer – Wenger|
|Jerry Jones, entire Cowboys team kneel before national anthem|
|Aguero only world-class Premier League striker – Henry|
|Steelers´ Villanueva ´embarrassed´ he stood alone for national anthem|
|Kane: I use Ronaldo and Messi as motivation|
|LeBron on protests: My voice is more important than my knee|
|Sproles sidelined with torn ACL, broken arm|
|Rodriguez penalty call correct for Wenger|
|Roethlisberger regrets Steelers´ decision to miss national anthem|
|Pulis rounds on ´cheating´ Sanchez amid Rodriguez penalty row|
|Ramsey: Arsenal must make Emirates a fortress|
|Arsenal 2 West Brom 0: Lacazette double enough for Gunners as Barry breaks Premier League record|
|Yankees´ Aaron Judge breaks Mark McGwire’s rookie HR record|
|Dunbar a doubt for Scotland internationals after surgery|
|Benjamin MRI reveals no structural damage to knee|
|No Real Madrid doubts over Cristiano Ronaldo, insists Carvajal|
|England Ashes hopeful Westley escapes with bruised thumb|
|Nineteen years and counting – Barry´s record-breaking Premier League career in Opta numbers|
|Barry to break Giggs´ Premier League appearance record|
|US Open finalists Stephens and Keys suffer first-round Wuhan defeats|
|Zidane has faith in Real Madrid style|
|Suso pens AC Milan extension until 2022|
|Cavaliers hopeful of January return for Thomas|
|Real Madrid injuries will make no difference, says Bosz|
|A waste of time - Klopp baffled by media questions ahead of Champions League tie|