When England played San Marino a major record was equaled Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal record which has stood solid since 1970, is soon to be broken if Rooney can score once more for England. Since making his debut at the age of 17 he has impressed brilliantly for his country. scoring consistently at all levels. He has always been a highly decisive figure, with there being much debate as to how good the forward truly is. Here though, I will prove why he is the best goalscorer the country has ever had.
A key point fired at Rooney is that he doesn’t score enough goals in the big games. Critics argue that his goals are scored in games which do not matter and that his goals in non-competitive matches do not make him better than his fellow countrymen. However, a look at the figures in the table below will be surprising to many.
Appearances Goals Competitive Apps/Goals Friendly Apps/Goals
Bobby Charlton 106 49 57-27 49-22
Wayne Rooney 106 49 67-37 39-12
Gary Lineker 80 48 47-24 33-24
Jimmy Greaves 57 44 28-24 29-20
It shows that Rooney has by far and away the most competitive goals out of the top 4 of all time. Granted, he has played more games, but his goals have been vital for England’s current success so far.
Many would argue also that Rooney in the big tournaments has not scored in the vital games. This I do agree with because a few more goals in the latter stages of tournaments, would have pushed England forward. Do the figures show his competitors being much better though?
Charlton 16 5
Rooney 17 6
Lineker 18 10
Greaves 7 1
The table above shows figures for each player in the World Cup and the European Championships. We see that Lineker has a fantastic record but Rooney is by no means the worst. Greaves was unlucky through injury to miss the infamous world cup and Bobby Charlton did win us the World cup in 1966 which should be mentioned in tandem with these two players. Rooney’s goal record should not be damaged by this because frankly England cannot compete with the best in the world currently. Therefore when consulting these statistics Rooney’s goal record should not overly be lambasted in major tournaments. England’s record in the major tournaments is not good enough for the players we have, but Rooney doesn’t deserve to solely hold that burden.
Bobby Charlton was more a midfielder than a forward, making his goals at international level even more impressive than if he was an out and out striker. Wayne Rooney also is not an all out no.9 forward. He actually players in a role often just behind the striker. For instance when he has been partnered up with players such as Danny Welbeck and Michael Owen he has always played slightly deeper. For his club this is the same and he has even played in centre midfield at times. This makes 49 goals in an England shirt a truly remarkable feat.
I think it would be too much of a stretch to say Rooney is the best finisher to ever put on an England shirt. Players like Owen, Lineker and Greaves were better in front of goal than the ex-evertonian. This should not diminish how good he has been with three lions on his shirt. His longevity has been fantastic, he has barely missed a game through injury and is almost always the most committed player on the pitch. In his early days he was a little too exuberant, occasionally getting penalised by referees for his actions. Nevertheless he has matured throughout the years and now captains the side with passion and vigor.
Rooney’s status is also only going to improve. Rooney being only 29 has 3 or 4 years yet at least in an England shirt which will mean he will play in Euro 2016 and at the world cup in 2018. With luck on his side he may be able to beat Peter Shilton’s record of 125 caps making him England’s most acclaimed footballer of all time. Therefore due to these factors I believe, if he is not already, Wayne Rooney will be England’s greatest goalscorer of all time. The United star should certainly now be guaranteed a place as one of the best players to ever wear an England shirt.
Do you think Wayne Rooney is the best Goalscorer for England? If not, who would you class as the best? Comment below your view and thank you for reading!