England captain Wayne Rooney has spoken about edging closer to breaking Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record for the Three Lions, CaughtOffside reports.
The Manchester United striker needs just four more goals at international level to become the leading scorer in the history of the English national side, with Charlton the current record-holder with 49 goals.
Rooney admits it would be a proud moment if he could break the record, which seems more than likely given his age and current status in Roy Hodgson’s team.
“Obviously I am close. It will be a fantastic moment for myself, a proud moment if I can do that,” he is quoted as saying.
Still, are the stats a little misleading for Rooney’s England career. When he first broke onto the scene as a 17-year-old, many will have expected a little more from him on the big stage. Yes, he has scored plenty of goals, though many of them standard poachers’ goals against far lower-level opposition in largely uninspiring friendlies and qualifying matches for major tournaments. Meanwhile, after his four goals as a teenager at Euro 2004, only a further two have come at the big tournaments – it wasn’t until last summer that he found the back of the net at a World Cup.
Are we too hard on Rooney? Or are we right to demand that his overall contribution for England be more than just numbers? Charlton inspired a team to World Cup glory and generally lit up the game in his wonderful career – something Rooney looked like doing as a youngster but never quite managed.