England’s all time record goal-scorer Wayne Rooney: ‘I was not a natural goal-scorer’
Manchester United and England National Team all-time record goal-scorer Wayne Rooney has said that ‘he was not a natural goal-scorer.’ The Derby County player, a team that plays in the Championship, feels he did not do enough in front of the goal.
Rooney had a glittering career for both club and country. After joining English giants Manchester United from boyhood club Everton in 2004, Rooney scored 253 goals in 559 appearances while spending 13 trophy-laden years at the club. The forward won 5 Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League, a Europa League, a FA Cup and three League Cups. Most of his playing time came under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and Rooney was hailed as the ‘White Pele’ due to his goal-scoring heroics.
Rooney eclipsed the record of Sir Bobby Charlton at both club and country. Charlton had scored 249 goals for Manchester United, and 49 for England in 106 appearances. Rooney, for the Three Lions, scored 53 times in 120 games.
He was a versatile player, and in his later years, the 34-year-old played at several positions behind the forward line. He thinks he wasn’t a natural goalscorer. “I’m going to be honest — and this might surprise you — but I’m not a natural goalscorer. I was never a Gary Lineker or a Ruud van Nistelrooy; I never looked at myself that way,” Rooney wrote in his column in the Sunday Times.
“How did I become a record-breaker if I wasn’t a natural scorer? Time,” the 34-year-old explained. “I played for United for 13 years, England for 15 years. I had time to break those records — and looking back I should have scored more.”
For me, it wasn’t difficult mastering the right finishing but the mental challenge of playing No 9 should not be underestimated. My instinct is to drop off and get on the ball. | @WayneRooney on the art of scoring https://t.co/SDg9CbtZP8
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) April 19, 2020
Rooney backed current Tottenham striker and England captain Harry Kane to break his record. “I don’t think it will take long for Harry Kane to claim my England record and it would be a proud moment for me,” he added. The 26-year-old has scored 32 times in just 45 appearances for the national team.
“I’ve never been a selfish player and it would be great for England for Harry to get there. Bobby Charlton had to wait 50 years — I hope it’s not so long for me. The United record might last longer simply because players don’t stay at clubs as long as they used to,” Rooney added.
Marcus Rashford, United’s young sensation, could be one of the prime contenders for the role if he stays at Old Trafford. The lad, just 22, has already scored over 40 goals and is nearing his best. Rashford is also a regular for the England national team. Rooney, though, placed his bets on the two best players of the modern generation. His favourite players, he said, were those like Paul Scholes or Xavi, because he got more joy out of spliting a defence with a pass more than from scoring goals.
He signed off by adding, “Mind you, if [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo came to Old Trafford for a swansong they’d probably break it in three or four years.”
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