WAYNE Rooney, who holds the record for being the youngest player to ever score a goal for England when he was just 17 years and 111 days old, has created a new record as he reached 50 international goals on September 9, the most scored by an England player.
The record was fittingly broken at Wembley Stadium – the home of English football – when he put in a penalty against Switzerland, after scoring another penalty a few days earlier against San Marino.
Although approached by the Republic of Ireland manager to play for them when he was 16, thanks to his Irish grandmother, Rooney made it clear that he considered himself ‘English through and through’ and of course now as captain of the England team, which was the first to qualify for Euro 2016, he has seen them unbeaten so far in their qualifying group.
Whilst those he has overtaken, including Sir Bobby Charlton (49 goals), Gary Lineker (48), Jimmy Greaves (44) and Michael Owen (40) played at a time when generally there were less international fixtures, Rooney is not yet 30 and has several years ahead of him to build on this remarkable achievement. If he continues until the World Cup in Russia in 2018, 60 or more goals could be a realistic target.
For a man who has been accused of underperforming for England he has done enough to silence his critics and his emotions were clear to see just after he scored that record-breaking goal.