While Wayne Rooney will never silence the cynics who carp about his lack of silverware in an England shirt, the astonishing array of records set by the striker ensure his place as one of his country's all-time greats.
The former United striker said he wants to concentrate only on life back at Everton and feels the time is right to call time on his legendary worldwide career.
When asked whether Rooney was under-appreciated, Lineker said: "He probably is".
"He said he had been thinking long and hard about the decision and he had decided he was going to announce his worldwide retirement".
The great irony of Rooney's decision to retire is it came at the moment when he looked capable of one last flourish after an impressive start for Everton following his close-season move back to his boyhood club.
"He had a tough decision in leaving Manchester United but it was proven to be the correct one".
"Opinions differ on Rooney, but in my short time in charge of England I found him to be a very responsible captain".
"But I believe now is the time to bow out", he added.
He had previously seen how his former Manchester United team-mates Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs had enhanced their club careers by retiring from worldwide football and with Everton at the forefront of his mind, he decided the time was now right. "Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful", he said.
The English star stressed that he would always remain "a passionate England fan".
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WAYNE ROONEY yesterday announced his retirement from global football - as he revealed England manager Gareth Southgate wanted him back for his next squad.
File: England's striker Wayne Rooney walks towards Algeria's midfielder Djamel Abdoun to shake hands at the end of the 2010 World Cup group C first round football match between England and Algeria on June 18, 2010, at Green Point stadium in Cape Town.
Southgate feels that - as the team's record outfield appearance holder and its record goalscorer - Rooney can comfortably be classified as a legend.
Lineker referred to Rooney's selfless style and described him as "a player's player" in asserting that his global career had been "magnificent".
The 31-year-oldis the second player to have represented England the most times with 119 caps, just six behind former goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
Together they were expected to win England back respect, if not honours, as the country that always considered itself a major footballing power struggled to emulate its solitary tournament success at the 1966 World Cup.
"Everton will benefit hugely I'm sure because he won't be flying around the world playing in tournaments, qualifiers and the rest", he told BBC Radio 5 live.
"He is England's top goalscorer. No-one enjoyed playing for England more than Wayne Rooney".
"His form has been excellent and I was definitely thinking about including him in the squad".
"If I was the England manager, I would have done everything to convince Rooney to play at the World Cup and then make a decision".
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