Wayne Rooney never considered himself a natural goalscorer, but the Manchester United and England’s record-breaking striker believes he should have netted even more.
Having burst onto the scene with Everton so astonishingly at 16, the forward earned a big-money move to Old Trafford in 2004 and went on to score 253 goals in 559 appearances during a medal-laden spell there.
Rooney usurped Sir Bobby Charlton as United’s all-time top scorer, with the latter finishing on 249.
For England, Rooney netted 53 across 120 caps and Charlton registered 49, but not that Rooney really considers himself to be a sharpshooter.
“I’m going to be honest – and this might surprise you – but I’m not a natural goalscorer,” the 34-year-old told the Sunday Times.
“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 believes Harry Kane is the closest he has seen to Van Nistelrooy and backed the Tottenham star to soon supplant him in the England charts. Kane is sitting on 32 goals.
“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.”