49 AND COUNTING
Having opened the scoring from the penalty spot last weekend in England’s 6-0 demolition of San Marino, Wayne Rooney drew level with the great Sir Bobby Charlton in scoring 49 goals for his country and now it is only a matter of time before he surpasses the former Manchester United legend’s tally. The best football betting sites have him priced at 2.20 to score anytime during tonight’s Group E encounter against Switzerland to break Charlton’s record and become his country’s leading marksman.
CHARLTON V ROONEY
The two Manchester United icons have almost identical international records as the inevitable question of “who is best” starts to circulate around the football world. Bobby Charlton’s 49 goals came in 106 appearances for his country. Astonishingly, Wayne Rooney’s tally of 49 has also arrived after 106 England caps. The current England captain has a slightly better goal to games ratio than his predecessor however, averaging 2.19 to Charlton’s 2.16.
WHERE DOES ROONEY RANK AMONGST
If you were looking to place Rooney in the all-time list of great England centre-forwards many football bet predictions would point to the fact that he is already England’s top scorer in competitive games, but Rooney has played significantly more matches than Charlton and the player who sits third in the list, Gary Lineker. It’s in the major tournaments were the 29-year-old’s record is less impressive, having scored five in six appearances in European Championships and just one in 11 matches at the World Cup Finals. Compare this to Lineker for instance, who won the golden boot (as the tournament’s top goalscorer) at the 1986 finals in Mexico with six goals before England were eliminated at the quarter-final stage.
QUALITY OF THE OPPOSITION
Another factor to take into consideration is the standard of opposition Rooney has faced compared to his peers. Most football betting guides would have Rooney at the top of their lists to score against countries like San Marino and this is reflected in the statistics, having grabbed five against the side from the Italian principality, three against Kazakhstan and two each against Andorra and Belarus.But that would be a harsh criticism, as you can only score against what is put in front of you.
GOALS FROM EVERYWHERE
One thing that cannot be argued is the variation of his goals. Whilst not being considered a natural goalscorer along the lines of Charlton and Lineker, Rooney’s total of 49 has included 32 scored with his right-foot, five with his left and 11 with his head. Five have come from the penalty spot, two from direct free-kicks and eight from outside the penalty area – for this diversity he deserves all the plaudits. People who like to bet on sport will be putting their faith in the Liverpool born striker to break the record at Wembley on Tuesday evening, being only 29-years-old gives Rooney the chance to set a new target very few in years to come, will be able to get close to.
By Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)