Wayne Rooney may well be the greatest goalscorer in the history of both Manchester United and England, but he has admitted that he was never a ‘natural goalscorer’ and ‘should have scored more’.
The forward, now plying his trade in the Championship with Derby County, is one of the finest talents that the country has ever produced, coming through the ranks at Everton before going on to become Manchester United‘s all-time leading goalscorer.
Netting 253 times for the Red Devils, Rooney’s goals saw him eclipse Bobby Charlton’s club record which had stood since 1973, but writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Times, the 34-year-old admitted that he has never considered himself as a ‘natural goalscorer’, citing the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gary Lineker as proper out-and-out number nines.
“I’m going to be honest – and this might surprise you – but I’m not a natural goalscorer,” he wrote.
“I was never a Gary Lineker or a Ruud van Nistelrooy; I never looked at myself that way.
“I hold the goal records for Manchester United and England and am very proud about that – yet there have been better No 9s than me.
“How did I become a record-breaker if I wasn’t a natural scorer? Time. 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.”
Rooney’s 53 goals for England saw him overtake Booby Charlton as the Three Lions leading scorer, though he has backed Harry Kane to swiftly replace him at the top of the goalscoring charts, the Spurs striker having already netted 32 times on the international stage.
“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,” Rooney said.
“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.”