Wayne Rooney Not Concerned If England Scoring Record Has To Wait
Wayne Rooney says he will not be concerned if he fails to become England's all-time record goalscorer against Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday.
The England captain scored from the penalty spot in Saturday’s 6-0 Euro 2016 Group E qualifying victory over San Marino, equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s record haul of 49 international goals in the process.
Rooney was unable to build on his 49th goal for his country and was replaced after 59 minutes by Harry Kane, who scored his second international goal in the rout.
Despite a place in history beckoning, Rooney insists his main focus remains on team matters and is confident he will have many other opportunities to claim his historic 50th goal for England if he is unable to do so against Switzerland.
“Of course it would be nice to do it at Wembley. It’s an iconic stadium to everyone in England and around the world,” he said.
“So it would be nice to do it, move on from that and concentrate on the team again as for me that’s the most important thing.
“We have to try and win the game tomorrow [Tuesday] and finish the group top. If it happens tomorrow then great, but if it does not, it’s not something which will concern me. The main concern is the game.
“I feel I have still got quite a lot of games left to play for England. If I was sat here saying, ‘I just want to get 50 goals’ I would be lying and I would disappointed if I ended my England career on 50 goals.
“I want to kick on and try and score as many goals as I can. I’ve still got plenty of games to do that. Hopefully by the time I finish playing, it will be more goals than 50.”
Rooney also took the opportunity to defend fellow forward Kane, who has recently come in for criticism following a difficult start to the new Premier League season with Tottenham.
Kane enjoyed a remarkable campaign last season, scoring 31 goals for Spurs and netting 79 seconds into his international debut with England in the 4-0 victory over Lithuania in March.
But the 2014/15 PFA Young Player of the Year is yet to score for Spurs this season and his goal against San Marino was his first since last May.
“He’s a great player and he had fantastic season last year. I think everyone needs to slow down a bit with the criticism or the pressure they’ve tried to put him under early on in the season,” Rooney said.
“It’s only four games in, you can see the talent he’s got and we all need to get behind him as a country because he’s certainly a special player and he’ll score goals.
“I’m sure that goals against San Marino will give him a huge boost in confidence and the goals will come for him in the next coming weeks. He just has to keep doing what he’s doing and no doubt the goals will come.”