European Qualifiers: Captain Wayne Rooney chasing England goalscoring record

Sir Bobby Charlton has urged Wayne Rooney to eclipse his England goal-scoring record
Image: Wayne Rooney aims to eclipse Sir Bobby Charlton's England goal-scoring record

Wayne Rooney admits he is keeping an eye on the international goalscoring records of Jimmy Greaves and Sir Bobby Charlton as he closes in on the England legends.

Rooney has scored 41 goals in 97 appearances for his country and is only three goals behind Greaves in the England record books and eight behind all-time leader Sir Bobby.

The England captain is set to start against San Marino and Estonia in European Qualifiers in the next five days, and it is assumed that the Manchester United striker could take a large step towards surpassing those landmarks.

Rooney admits it is in the back of his mind as he prepares to take on minnows San Marino at Wembley on Thursday. 

I'm wanting to do well for the team and if I can score goals then great and the most important thing for us is to perform well and to win the games.
Wayne Rooney

"It's there. There's no denying it," he said. 

"Jimmy Greaves is there and if I can overtake him this week, in the coming weeks, the coming months (then) that would be great.

"It's not something going into the game (I'm) thinking: 'Oh, I've got to beat Jimmy Greaves' record to get close to Bobby Charlton'.

More from England V San Marino

"I'm wanting to do well for the team and if I can score goals then great and the most important thing for us is to perform well and to win the games."

Apology

Meanwhile, England manager Roy Hodgson has apologised to Rooney for the fuss caused by his throwaway remark about his captain's Liverpool accent.

Hodgson said last week that Rooney would not be able lecture a room full of people because of his accent, but the pair both saw the funny side of the situation ahead of the San Marino game.

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Roy Hodgson and Wayne Rooney talk ahead of England v San Marino

"I have to be very careful when talking about accents and the way people speak," Hodgson said with a laugh.

"It took years for me to realise I had a speech defect, but it was made very clear to me when I took the job that I had one.

"I have been aware of it ever since so I am the last person to discuss accents.

"I am disappointed, of course, in the headline, I'd add, because what I was trying to say probably came out in the article. But, of course, it is headlines that create potential damage.

"Fortunately, I have got a guy alongside me who has been with me for a long time and he knows that in no way was it aimed at home or anyone from Liverpool.

"My wife is from Liverpool so I think that is last thing I would be doing.

"I have actually apologised to him for the headline, but he was so gracious that he didn't even want the apology. As far as we are concerned, it is a storm in a tea cup."

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