Rooney set to break scoring record
SERRAVALLE, SAN MARINO
WAYNE Rooney hopes finally to break Bobby Charlton's 45-year-old all-time scoring record when England play Switzerland at Wembley tomorrow, with their place in the Euro 2016 finals in France already secured.
The England captain equalled Charlton's long-standing record total of 49 goals when he scored from a 13th-minute penalty in England's 6-0 win over San Marino on Saturday, which guaranteed them a place in the finals next year.
Like Charlton, Rooney, 29, has taken 106 matches to reach his target, but his England career is expected to go beyond both Charlton's number of games played and goals scored.
Although there was a look of frustration on his face when manager Roy Hodgson replaced him with Harry Kane after 57 minutes, Rooney told ITV Sport it would be an honour to break the record at Wembley.
Charlton became England's record scorer at Wembley in May 1968 when he overtook Jimmy Greaves' 44-goal haul and he scored his 49th and final goal in May 1970 against Colombia in Bogota. Since then, only Gary Lineker, who scored 48 goals, has come close to the record.
"It would have been great if the record had happened tonight. Obviously, the tradition of Wembley and to break the record at Wembley would be great too," Rooney said. He added: "Since I was 18 and joined Manchester United, Sir Bobby has been in the dressing room after all the games and speaks to all the players and me in particular.
"After England and United games, he gives me advice and tries to help me and I am sure that if anyone will be happy for me to break his record, it will be him. It's crazy that our records are identical but hopefully, my 107th game will see the 50th goal, but right now, I would swop all those goals for a winner's medal next summer."
Kane, who grabbed his second goal for England in only his third international, said he was delighted to score after failing to find the net in Tottenham Hotspur's opening four games of the season.
"It's great to get on the scoresheet. A lot has been said about me not scoring this season but I came off the bench and, thankfully, scored. It is a great achievement by Wayne to equal the record and we are all buzzing for him but the whole team did well and we don't want to stop here as we want to keep moving on."
Lineker, who was joint second with Rooney until Saturday, could see the funny side of dropping down the list. "Trying to get used to only being the 3rd highest goalscorer... so humiliating!" he tweeted.