Arsenal hero Paul Merson has declared that Wayne Rooney will never match up to Bobby Charlton as England’s greatest player, despite the fact that the Manchester United star is on the cusp of breaking Charlton’s goalscoring record for the national side, as reported by the Daily Star.
Rooney scored a penalty against San Marino on Thursday night, which took him to within two goals of Jimmy Greaves.
However, the Man Utd striker undoubtedly has his eyes on Charlton’s goalscoring record, and will match it with only six more goals for the Three Lions.
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Merson, who played 21 times for the national team, does not believe that Rooney’s achievements will match up to greats of the past.
In fact, he believes that the former Everton forward’s poor record in tournaments means that his goals are simply less important than the greats.
He is, however, aware that Rooney will still go down in history if he manages to break the record.
Merson wrote: “It’s a massive achievement to score more goals than anyone else for your country and he will go down in history for it.
“I mean, think of all the great strikers who have tried and failed before him – Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen.
“But you have to put it in perspective. Sir Bobby Charlton scored 49 goals for England against much better teams.
“How often did that England team play against sides as poor as San Marino and Estonia? It just didn’t happen in those days.
“Rooney could also break the record having won less caps than Charlton, who ﬁnished on 106. But he hasn’t won the World Cup, has he?
“And how many goals has he ever scored in a World Cup semi-ﬁnal?
“Bobby Charlton put England into the ﬁnal when he scored twice against Portugal in the semis in 1966.”