Unsurprisingly, Wayne Rooney’s 50th England goal is the talk of the town this morning.
The Manchester United striker finally rose to the top of his country’s all-time goalscoring charts with the game-clinching second in England’s 2-0 Euro 2016 qualification victory over Switzerland, having drawn level with Bobby Charlton on 49 in the weekend qualifier at San Marino.
Primed and ready to pay tribute in the event that the big 5-0 did indeed occur at Wembley on Tuesday, the nation’s experts were in fine form for the occasion.
Euro Qualifying
Rooney breaks scoring record in England win over Switzerland
08/09/2015 AT 18:02
[REPORT: Rooney breaks scoring record in England win over Switzerland]
[REACTION: Rooney: I was a bit emotional out there... I'm happy it's done]
[FACTBOX: England's new record goalscorer Wayne Rooney]


Wayne Rooney’s top 10 England goals

11 pictures



Criticism aimed towards Rooney over the years does not tell the whole story, according to Mirror columnist Andy Dunn, who said:
Wayne Rooney will wake up tomorrow morning with the England goalscoring record and the captaincy of club and country for company. And the Manchester United goalscoring record in his sights. At the age of 29. And there will still be people who look on and ask: Where did it all go wrong? There will still be people who believe he is over-rated, there will still be people who believe he has under-achieved. They are worthy arguments. But after overtaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s tally of 49 international goals, not a hint of shine should be stripped from a magnificent feat.

Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring the second goal for England from the penalty spot and becoming England's all time leading goalscorer

Image credit: Reuters


Barney Ronay feels the footballing nation can finally move on from its obsession with the past now that the record has been broken:
Here we are still talking about a record set in the pre-modern age – and not in itself a particularly tough or distant looking record – the passing of which represents not so much a fresh glorious peak or a scandalous intrusion, as a simple case of exorcism. English football’s relentlessly underwhelming present has, very belatedly, caught up with the onerous past. For this, at least, ridding us of this noble relic of a goal record, for dragging the national team forward towards something resembling the modern world – the 1980s here we come – Rooney deserves our thanks.

Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring his 50th England goal

Image credit: PA Sport


Addressing the elephant in the room, John Brewin used Cristiano Ronaldo as a means of comparison to explain exactly why public opinion on Rooney’s career is tepid, record or not:
Rooney has not become the undisputed legend that England expected of its teenage wizard. Cristiano Ronaldo, who became a Manchester United team-mate after Euro 2004, once Everton sold Rooney for £28m, has long since surpassed him. By Ronaldo's final season at United, the 2008-09 campaign that brought a third Premier League title in a row and a second consecutive Champions League final, Rooney was a lesser star in Ronaldo's galaxy. Ronaldo, incidentally, hit his 50th goal for Portugal against Ghana at the last World Cup, taking 114 matches to do so, but has scored a half-century for five seasons in a row for Real Madrid, while Rooney has never been beyond 34 for his club.

Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring the second goal for England from the penalty spot and becoming England's all time leading goalscorer

Image credit: Reuters


Phil McNulty compared Rooney to other contenders for the title of the greatest England goalscorer in history such as Gary Lineker and Charlton, and concluded in favour of the 50-goal man:
Rooney's achievements must not be downplayed and he fully deserves a place in history. The goals are in the record books. The Rooney story is the narrative of England's last decade. He has been present in dark times as well as light, the consummate competitor, dressing room inspiration, team man and the England player opponents feared most. From Sven-Goran Eriksson through to Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson, every England manager has wanted Rooney in his team - which speaks eloquently for his importance.

Wayne Rooney has notched 50 goals from England, a new record

Image credit: PA Sport


Finally, Paul Joyce argued that you only have to compare the progress of Rooney’s international goalscoring to his current peers to realise just how special he is:
At 22, Harry Kane has two goals - Rooney at the same age had 14. At 25, Danny Welbeck has 14 goals - Rooney at the same age had 26. At 26, Daniel Sturridge has five goals - Rooney at the same age had 28. That is a proper context. There is too much negativity about Rooney, the boy from Croxteth who made English football sit up and take note when he swaggered on to centre stage at the age of 16. Perhaps there is a little too much focus on what he has supposedly not gone on to achieve in his career when he should be treasured.
Rooney vows to be always available for England duty
08/09/2015 AT 06:19
Premier League
'I've got a job to do' - Rooney rejects Everton's approach to be new manager