Spot-on Rooney hits 50 on historic night

Wayne Rooney reacts after scoring his 50th goal for England
Wayne Rooney reacts after scoring his 50th goal for England

Wayne Rooney reckons his record-breaking penalty against Switzerland tonight was the proudest moment of his career.

The Manchester United striker steered home from the spot late on last night, sealing a 2-0 win for his England side - and also confirming himself as this country’s all-time record goalscorer, overtaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s tally of 49.

And, after hitting the magic 50 barrier in this Euro 2016 qualifier, Rooney admitted: “It’s right up there, if not the best moment of my career.

“To be the country’s all-time leading goalscorer before the age of 30 is not something I could ever have dreamed of and I’m extremely proud tonight.

“I was a bit emotional out there and it’s something to be extremely proud of.

“I’m happy it’s done and hopefully I can kick on from here and concentrate on the team and our success in the future.”

Rooney, who equalled Charlton’s record against San Marino on Saturday, had earlier seen Harry Kane give England the lead before his big moment came, after Raheem Sterling had been fouled inside the box.

“I knew myself it was a big moment for me and I just picked my corner and put my boot through it to get as much power as possible and make it hard for the ‘keeper,” the England captain added.

“He got a touch but thankfully it had too much power.

“I went through a spell around 2008 when I didn’t score for two years for England, and since Roy Hodgson has come in, I’ve scored a lot of goals.

“I’m grateful to Roy for letting me play with the freedom that I enjoy.”

Were it not for Rooney’s record-breaking strike, this dead-rubber game would hardly have lived long in the memory. Kane brought Wembley to life by opening the scoring with a fine left-footed effort, before Rooney sealed the win and continued England’s 100 per cent record in Group E.

Charlton, whose record as United’s record scorer is also under threat to Rooney, said via the Old Trafford club’s website: “I would like to congratulate Wayne on becoming England’s leading goalscorer.

“I have always been very proud to hold this record.

“Playing for my country was always an honour and a privilege and something I did with great pride.

“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.”