Rooney Dreams Big With England

RooneyROONEY will become just the ninth England player to reach 100 caps on Saturday, when he leads the team out for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia at Wembley.

Of the eight names currently on the list, only Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore have achieved what Rooney has failed to do in his 11-year international career – lifting an international trophy.

Rooney may have five Premier League winner’s medals to his name, but he is yet to win anything with England despite appearing for the Three Lions in five major tournaments.

So while he will be bursting with pride when he receives his 100th cap on Saturday, there will be a slight sense of disappointment and unfulfillment in the back of his mind when he reflects on his England career to date.

“To get 100 caps for England, there’s not many players who have done it and it would be a great achievement. I’ll be proud to join that club and is something that myself and my family would be honoured by,” the England captain said.

“But I could sit here saying I’ve got 200 caps and 100 goals for my country, but the ultimate is to win a trophy and that’s what we all want to do.

“That’s why we play football, to win. That’s the target and hopefully sometime soon we can achieve that.”

Rooney is closing in on another series of landmarks.

The Manchester United striker has his sights set on Peter Shilton’s record of 125 caps and he is six goals short of Charlton’s all-time scoring record.

To top the record of Charlton, who will present Rooney with a special golden cap before kick-off on Saturday, would be another proud moment for the striker. But Rooney would still not feel comfortable being compared with the Manchester United and England hero unless he matched Charlton’s achievements in the international arena.

“To be England’s greatest ever goals scorer would be massive,” Rooney said in the official England v Slovenia match programme, which will be available at Wembley on Saturday or via www.TheFA.com/programmes.

“The record has stood for so many years, there have been plenty of players who haven’t been able to break it.

“I’m still relatively young and believe I can do it and hopefully that record will come.

“Obviously I’m not going to be as big a legend as Sir Bobby Charlton – he’s won the World Cup with England – so to eclipse that I’d have to win the World Cup, which would be a massive achievement.”

Given his age, Rooney knows it would take a leap of faith from whoever is in charge of the team in 2018 to select him for the next World Cup in Russia. But given the paucity of forwards in England, and the fact that the Three Lions are almost certain to qualify, there is little doubt about Rooney taking part in Euro 2016 though.

Sportinglife

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