Former Manchester United and England legend, Bobby Charlton has enjoyed his view from atop the England scoring charts for 43 years now. The World Cup winner scored 49 times in 106 appearances and no one bar, Gary Lineker, who was sensationally substituted with England needing a goal in the ’92 Euros stuck on 48 has come close since.
Michael Owen, who has recently made the news after announcing he is retiring at the end of the season was pegged to be the all-time scorer at one point but injuries along with a loss of form saw him stuck on 40 goals in 89 appearances, which leaves the door wide open for Wayne Rooney.
Rooney scored number 34 earlier today against San Marino and will probably be extremely disappointed that he didn’t fill his boots more against the minnows who gave up goals to seven different players in their 8-0 loss.
The United forward who some feel could be in decline at the tender age of 27 was once England’s youngest goal scorer and even if the years and miles have taken a toll, he is still the talisman that the Three Lions look for come tournament time.
If he remains fit and open to selection while continuing to score at his present rate, look for Rooney to overtake Charlton around the time of the next European Championships to be hosted in France in 2016.
This would be an entirely appropriate stage for him to break the record as it was at Euro 2004 in Portugal that he truly announced his presence to the world with performances of pace, power and guile. In 2016 he will be 30 years old and according to conventional wisdom, at the peak of his powers as a footballer.
Bobby Charlton is a name that is treated with reverence within the English game, Wayne Rooney should join him in football royalty as he’s only 16 goals away. He must be wishing he could play San Marino every week.