London: Wayne Rooney will have an opportunity to break Bobby Charlton’s 45-year-old England goal-scoring record when he lines up against San Marino in Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier in Serravalle.
Wayne Rooney (right) gets past Jonjo Shelvey during an England training session at St George’s Park yesterday in Burton-upon-Trent. Pic/Getty Images
The England captain, 29, equalled Gary Lineker’s tally of 48 goals with a late winner in a 3-2 success away to Slovenia in June, which left him one goal below Charlton’s mark of 49.
A brace at the tiny Stadio Olimpico will give him the record outright, while an England victory — which is widely expected — will see Roy Hodgson’s side qualify from Group E with three games to spare.
“Hopefully he can break the record on this trip,” said Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, who is a candidate to partner Rooney in attack. “He is an incredible talent, a world-class player, and trains very hard to be where he is.
“It is great to be able to train with him, talk to him and learn from him. He is an all-round top player and top man.” Both Kane and Rooney are yet to score in the Premier League this season, but although the Manchester United man is without a league goal since April, he claimed a classy hat-trick at Club Brugge in the Champions League play-off round last month.
With an aggregate score of 31-1 in their five previous meetings with San Marino, currently ranked 193rd in the world, victory for England is all but inevitable, and it will be enough to take them to France.