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Rooney rivals British Isles nations’ scoring greats with record tally

| 09.09.2015

The sports headlines have been rightfully dominated by Wayne Rooney and his record-breaking tally for England, with the Three Lions skipper’s penalty against Switzerland taking his impressive total to 50, one above previous all-time scorer Sir Bobby Charlton.

Manchester United’s 29-year-old captain was earning his 107th England cap, having stormed onto the international stage at the age of 17 back in 2003, netting his first ever goal later that same year, and eventually realising this truly great feat over a decade later.

Roy Hodgson’s side will hope that Rooney can maintain his form and confidence until next summer at Euro 2016, where they are 11/1 to triumph with Coral after cruising to qualification, but how does the Old Trafford forward rank among the record holders of Ireland and other home nations?

Soccer - UEFA Euro 2016 - Qualifying - Group E - England v Slovenia - Wembley

Despite breaking Charlton’s long-standing record, many still question the manner in which Rooney has achieved this tally, having only struck six times in actual major tournaments, including five at the European Championships and a single World Cup goal.

As he approaches 30, though, Rooney still has time to add to his half-century of strikes, and at least one more tournament to overturn that possible flaw on his CV, with next summer’s competition in France potentially his last realistic chance.

Currently leading the goal scoring charts for active international stars is Republic of Ireland’s all-time finisher Robbie Keane, with his 67 strikes from 141 outings since his debut in 1998 still a long way ahead of Rooney. Although, the Dubliner holds a six-year advantage over his fellow forward at the age of 35.

Soccer - International Friendly - England v Republic of Ireland - Wembley Stadium

England’s deadliest striker has plenty of catching up to do in order to match that record set by Keane, a tally which the veteran MLS marksman will hope to add to and fire Ireland to France next summer (100/1 to top Group D).

With plenty of goal scoring records still within Rooney’s grasp, Denis Law is the man who could potentially next be dethroned by the rampant England hitman at club level, having outgunned the United legend internationally.

A clinical poacher that Sir Alex Ferguson once outlined as his favourite ever player, Law was truly a great finisher for club and country, but Rooney has long overtaken his joint-highest Scots tally of 30 strikes.

Soccer - Home International Championship - England v Scotland

Alongside Law at the summit of those Scottish ranks is former Liverpool hero Kenny Dalglish, who took almost double Law’s appearances to draw level on 30 each, having been a different style of attacker in his prime, relying on goals from deep driving runs.

When the focus switches back to club level, Rooney will need only five more strikes to overtake Law in the Old Trafford list of deadliest marksmen, a tally very much within his reach this year and he is 14/1 to end the Premier League season top of the pile.

Another former Anfield star leads the way for Wales in their top scorers, with Ian Rush securing 28 goals in his 73 outings, while David Healy is Northern Ireland’s most prolific sharpshooter on 36 strikes in 95 appearances.

Wales v RCS

Former Leeds United and Sunderland striker Healy still holds the record for highest scoring tally during Euro qualifying with 13 goals, a great feat which he achieved in the build-up to the 2008 tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

Rooney would need to dispatch another six goals in his final two qualifying outings in order to tick that record off on his ever-growing list of feats, but that won’t matter to the Three Lions skipper after dominantly blasting England to top of Group E.

With Ireland’s Keane the only active player still ahead of Rooney in the all-time charts, the England hitman will look to bolster his tournament tally next summer.

Though the modest marksman would undoubtedly rather lift the trophy in France instead, and be the only record British Isles scorer to achieve any international silverware success, as he searches for the one glaring omission from his career highlights reel.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.