Wayne Rooney: 100 caps, but is he an all-time England great?

Wayne Rooney: 100 caps, but is he an all-time England great?

15/11/2014 at 09:48Updated

England captain Wayne Rooney wins his 100th cap against Slovenia, becoming the Three Lions ninth centurion.

Most England stars have their ups and downs, but none polarises opinion quite like Rooney. On one hand, he has given consistent service for over a decade, playing at five major - and by the time he hangs up his boots he'll almost certainly be his country's record goalscorer.

On the other, he has never quite fulfilled his enormous promise, and has failed to deliver on the biggest stage, disappointing in three World Cups. He too often appears weary and jaded in the white of England, nor is he exactly natural captaincy material.

So will he be remembered as an England great? Here are some of the best views - on both sides of the debate - that have appeared on Eurosport.com.


This week England's second all-time scorer went to bat for Rooney, reminding sceptics of his qualities, such as finding space - and the net - consistently. Lineker put Rooney's poor tournament performances down to the fact he has rarely arrived in peak condition.

Our friends at Squawka crunched the numbers and showed that - according to the stats at least, the case for Rooney is rock-solid. Not only is he England's most consistent goalscorer, he even creates more chances than any player in the team.

As Rooney approached Jimmy Greaves's England goalscoring total, Alex Chick explained why the media's fondness for Greaves was midplaced, and tackled persistent myths that undermine Rooney's position among the England greats.


Our man Reda Maher tore into Rooney's record, pointing out the sheer weight of goals against substandard opposition, and lamenting his inability to produce the goods when it really matters - at international tournaments.

England boss Roy Hodgson made an ill-judged remark about Rooney's inability "to stand up in front of a lecture room of people", a product of "his Liverpool accent". Hodgson's wider point was that oratory is overrated in football - but the criticism stung because it reinforced many people's misgivings about Rooney's suitability for the captaincy.

Alexander Netherton's scathing assessment was based on Rooney's status at club level, but many of the criticisms carry into the international arena - do Rooney's declining physical prowess and lack of responsibility mean both club and country should carry on without him?