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Wayne Rooney becomes England's top goal scorer

Wayne Rooney scored a record 50th international goal during England's 2-0 win over Switzerland.
Wayne Rooney scored a record 50th international goal during England's 2-0 win over Switzerland. Action Images/Reuters/Carl Recine
3 min

It's 50 goals and counting for Wayne Rooney following his latest strike for England against Switzerland. It comes 12 years after he made his debut.


Sir Bobby Charlton will present Rooney with a golden boot next month after the Manchester United forward broke his England goalscoring record on Tuesday night.

Charlton, 77, a World Cup winner in 1966, will give Rooney the accolade for hitting his 50th goal for his country.

It came during England's 2-0 Group E qualifying match for next year's European Championships in France.

Charlton's high of 49 goals had stood for 45 years. It was surpassed as Rooney slotted in a penalty six minutes from time against Switzerland in front of 76,000 spectators at Wembley.

England were leading 1-0 thanks to Harry Kane's third goal for his country.

Rooney, who struck his 49th goal from the penalty spot against San Marino on Saturday, said he had been anxious in the prelude to the spot kick.

"It's such a huge honour to be the leading goal scorer for England. It was a highly pressured moment for me just before the penalty. I was a bit nervous but thankfully it went in."

Rooney's England debut came on 12 February 2003. Since then there have been 106 more caps.

"It was a great moment when I scored. All the team came over and were celebrating in front of the fans at Wembley. It was a special moment for me and I'm very proud."

But before Rooney could rest on his laurels, the England manager, Roy Hodgson, challenged him to emulate Charlton and inspire England to victory in a major tournament.

Charlton was one of the stars of the 1966 World Cup which England won at the expense of Germany.

Asked how many goals Rooney could yet score for England, Hodgson replied: "It depends how long he plays. I'd like to think we're on 10 games a year these days, a bit more if we do quite well in a tournament.

"So if he plays to 2018 at least we're talking 20 or 30 games, so 10 to 15 goals with his rate of scoring.

"He wants to make England a better team, to make sure, like Sir Bobby Charlton, he ends up winning a tournament or getting very good results in a tournament."

Hodgson revealed that after the match against Switzerland, Rooney had been presented with a framed shirt with the number 50 on the back by the Football Association and had made a brief speech to his teammates in the changing room.

Rooney will be presented with a golden boot by Charlton before England's next game against Estonia next month.

While England's victory assured them of first place in Group E, Switzerland will still have work to do to secure a berth at next year's tournament in France.

But with a three-point lead over third-placed Slovenia ahead of a home game with San Marino and a trip to Estonia, they remain on course to qualify.

"We're not at our maximum in September," said coach Vladimir Petkovic, whose side had come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at home to Slovenia in their previous game on Saturday.

"We were also perhaps a bit naive at times. At 1-0, I think we could have taken our chances better. Mentally, it's difficult to prepare for two matches in three days."

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