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Charlton backs Rooney to break England record
Nov 29, 2012 3:33 PM GMT
Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton has backed Wayne Rooney to beat his record and become England's all-time leading goalscorer.
Charlton tops the chart with 49 goals from his 106 appearances – with Gary Lineker trailing behind him on 48 goals, Jimmy Greaves on 44 and Michael Owen with 40 – while Rooney is ranked fifth with a return of 32 goals from 78 caps.
And with the 27-year-old still capable of representing England for several years, Charlton believes Rooney's love for the game marks him out as a special talent capable of going the distance where others have failed.
"Wayne has the enthusiasm and talent to do it. With a fair wind he can do it and I would be very happy with that because I like Wayne," Charlton told The Sun.
"I get the opportunity to speak to him every other week and he is not a bad lad. He is a good lad who loves the game and wants to be the best.
"I can see in him what I used to see in myself. He can't wait to get on the football field and he is magic. I have a lot of time for him because he is a good listener.
"I once said to him 'Can I give you a tip that might help? Don't be afraid to shoot. When you look up to have a shot, just smash the ball towards the goal as hard as you can. If you can see that rectangle, just smash the bloody thing'. We played Hull the next day and he did exactly that and scored."
The 27-year-old struck three goals for Roy Hodgson's side in October to take his tally above the 30 mark, with a brace against San Marino followed by a goal away against Poland during the team's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.