Wayne Rooney is determined to enjoy his final performance for England on Thursday after admitting it was not always fun to play for his country.
The former Manchester United and Three Lions captain is due to come on as a second-half substitute when Gareth Southgate's side play the United States at Wembley.
Rooney scored a record 53 goals in his first 119 international appearances as the spearhead of the so-called 'Golden Generation', which included the likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham and was criticised for failing to challenge at World Cups and European Championships.
Now 33, Rooney concedes that the pressure to succeed for England meant playing for his country was not always enjoyable – something he does not expect to be the case this week.
"There were maybe times when I didn't enjoy it as much as I should," he said on Tuesday. "That was down to the pressure I put on myself which, obviously when you're in that mode, you don't want to admit is there.
"I've stepped back from that now and can analyse it, and see it was there. It makes you try too hard, makes you anxious, so you don't enjoy it as much as you should. It affects your performance, because you play your best football and put in your best performances when you're enjoying playing. And I'm going to enjoy Thursday."
The decision to grant Rooney a farewell match has prompted criticism from some quarters, amid suggestions it is unfair on younger talent looking to establish their place in the side.
It was also suggested to Rooney that his decision to return was motivated partly by the furore following his last outing, in a 3-0 win over Scotland in November 2016, after which it was claimed he gatecrashed a wedding while drinking. He insisted on Tuesday he "never entered the wedding" and bristled at the suggestion it ended his England career.
However, he insists he would never have agreed to come back for the USA match if it meant he would break the all-time appearance record held by Peter Shilton, who won 125 caps.
"I haven't been in the squad since the Scotland game, partly through not playing for Manchester United and the second part through making the decision to retire from international football," Rooney said.
"Speaking to the FA, we felt it was right, this was the way the FA wanted to move forward. If this was the game where I was going to take the record off Peter Shilton, for instance, I would never have done that."
Rooney is uncertain how emotional the occasion will be, having fought back tears when he broke Bobby Charlton's scoring record after netting in a 2-0 win over Switzerland in September 2015.
"I'm not normally one who shows my emotions that way but when I scored the penalty against Switzerland it was hard to hold my emotions back," he said. "There will be emotions on the inside."
However, he says he remembers only too well the last time he cried: "It was on the plane, trying to get my four kids to go to sleep!"
|Ajax star De Ligt wins Golden Boy award|
|Foles fuels Eagles´ upset win over Rams|
|Latham carries bat as New Zealand leave Sri Lanka reeling|
|Keep your cool, Virat – Paine and Kohli in another confrontation|
|Depleted Nuggets complete season sweep of Raptors|
|Fabinho was ´outstanding´, says Klopp|
|Patriots QB Brady on loss to Steelers: We aren´t playing well enough to win|
|Elliott says Cowboys´ shut-out loss to Colts was embarrassing|
|De Bruyne not worried about Liverpool title challenge|
|Sixers star Simmons makes history with triple-double|
|WATCH: Nowitzki receives standing ovation in first home game of season|
|Seattle´s playoff spot on hold after Seahawks suffer OT loss to 49ers|
|Cheika survives as Wallabies coach, Johnson appointed|
|Vikings remain in NFC playoff picture|
|Steelers stay ahead as Patriots lose AFC´s second seed|
|Lionel Messi is the best, says Amor|
|I´m still tired just looking at Robertson – Mourinho in awe of Liverpool intensity|
|Casillas takes swipe at Mourinho after United lose to Liverpool|
|Valverde relieved as Messi brilliance prevents another Levante nightmare|
|WATCH: Leno proposes to girlfriend after Bears clinch division title|
|Messi and Suarez the world´s best strike partnership, says Pique|
|Klopp: I cannot keep every Liverpool player happy|
|Messi and Suarez outscoring Real Madrid and Atletico in LaLiga|
|Levante 0 Barcelona 5: Marvellous Messi banishes ghosts of last season|
|Colts rout Cowboys to keep playoff hopes alive|
|Bears shake off Packers to win NFC North and return to playoffs|
|Mourinho explains Pogba omission and defends Lukaku´s Liverpool showing|
|Liverpool´s display against Manchester United one of the best, claims Klopp|
|Look away Jose! Damning stats expose Manchester United´s limp Liverpool loss|
|Time´s up, Mourinho: Manchester United can dither no longer|
|Manchester United´s players are not dishonest – Mourinho|
|Manchester United´s lack of ambition under Mourinho is scary – Keane|
|Mourinho: All Manchester United can achieve is fourth|
|Quagliarella should be protected by UNESCO, jokes Sampdoria coach|
|Manchester United surpass last season´s goals-against tally in first 17 games|
|Hasenhuttl revels in ´unbelievable´ victory over Arsenal|
|Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1: Shaqiri´s late show bails out Alisson as Reds return to the top|
|Edinburgh in control in Champions Cup, Racing win again|
|Emery ponders January signing after Bellerin injury|
|It is only a knock – Sarri plays down Hazard injury fears|
|Redskins QB Alex Smith released from hospital|
|Starc: If I listen to Warne, I may as well retire|
|Curry interviews retired NASA astronaut, apologises for moon comments|
|Hazard refusing to give up on Premier League title hopes|
|Ziyech & Blind score hat-tricks as Ajax claim 8-0 win|
|Canelo v Fielding: What next for three-weight champion Alvarez?|
|Southampton 3 Arsenal 2: Austin and Ings end Gunners´ long unbeaten run|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2: Sensational Hazard proves the difference|
|Pogba on the bench as Clyne starts for Liverpool|
|Lipsky ends long barren spell in Malelane|
|Lakers´ Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical|
|Fletcher pushed Miller on to Broncos sack record|
|The Sarri effect: Hazard surpasses 2017-18 goal involvements in just 16 games|
|Van der Burgh retires on a high note with breaststroke double|
|Rashford: Liverpool was never an option|
|No team Liverpool play this season will be as motivated as Man United – Klopp|
|India surprised by contentious Kohli decision - Bumrah|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 15|
|Miller eyeing Joshua bout at Madison Square Garden|
|Finch cleared of serious damage after another finger blow|
|Rashford ´untouchable´ because he plays on his limits – Mourinho|
|It´s important to have his mentality - Mayfield thrilled with Kobe Bryant visit as Browns beat Bronc|
|Centurion Latham indebted to ´world-class´ Williamson|
|Spurs´ Dier out until January after appendix removal|
|A-League Review: Glory down Jets to stay unbeaten|
|Philander ruled out of first Test|
|Controversial Kohli dismissal puts Australia in command|
|Thunder´s Westbrook: ´When we defend like that — best team in the league´|
|Kante at his best further forward, reiterates Sarri|
|Rose capitulates in Indonesia to squander chance to top rankings|