Rooney's challenge: boot out my record

England captain Wayne Rooney after scoring a penalty against Switzerland in Tuesday's 2-0 win in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley. Rooney's goal broke Bobby Charlton's England record that had stood for 45 years.
England captain Wayne Rooney after scoring a penalty against Switzerland in Tuesday's 2-0 win in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley. Rooney's goal broke Bobby Charlton's England record that had stood for 45 years.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Charlton's mark is broken but skipper exhorts team-mates to overtake his tally

LONDON • No sooner had striker Wayne Rooney broken Bobby Charlton's scoring record for England than he encouraged the squad's younger players to surpass his achievements.

The England captain lashed in a late penalty against Switzerland in Tuesday's 2-0 win in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley to become England's outright all-time leading scorer with a half-century of goals.

The Manchester United forward wiped tears from his eyes as the crowd rose to acclaim him in the aftermath of his historic goal.

And he was applauded back into the home dressing room post-match by his team-mates, with manager Roy Hodgson presenting him with a commemorative No. 50 shirt to mark his feat.

Rooney, who will receive a golden boot from Charlton at Wembley next month when England host Estonia in their final home qualifier, gave a short speech, offering motivational words for his younger team-mates.

"This is such a huge moment for myself and my family and my career. Hopefully for the team, for myself, there's a lot more to come - we can be successful," he said.

"Hopefully, there's a lot of young lads coming through, Harry (Kane), Ross (Barkley), Raheem (Sterling), who can come close and even pass me in the future."

Charlton, whose scoring record at United is also under threat from Rooney, led the tributes for the 29-year-old.

"I have always been very proud to hold this record," the 77-year-old World Cup winner said of the mark that stood for 45 years.

"I obviously cannot deny that I am disappointed that I now don't hold this record.

"However, I am absolutely delighted that it is Wayne, as captain of my beloved club and country, who now holds this record."

Hodgson believes Rooney will break clear at the top of the nation's scoring chart as he aims to impress at Euro 2016 and the World Cup in Russia in three years' time.

"The one thing I can tell you about it was how proud he was to have achieved that, how determined he is not to stop at 50," said the manager.

His side maintained their 100 per cent record at the top of Group E and have claimed the section after eight qualifiers.

"If he plays to 2018 at least, we're talking 20 or 30 more 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."

Kane, scorer of the opening goal on Tuesday, backed Rooney to set a record that will never be broken.

"We'll see what he ends up on. He's going to score quite a few more goals for England so we'll see if anyone can catch him," said the 22-year-old.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2015, with the headline 'ROONEY'S CHALLENGE: BOOT OUT MY RECORD'. Print Edition | Subscribe