Love him or hate him, the man made history today.
There were two big questions surrounding England for this international break; would the Three Lions seal qualification for Euro 2016 (they did, thanks to a 6-0 drubbing of San Marino this past weekend), and would Wayne Rooney be able to score a landmark 50th goal.
In the 84th minute of their match against Switzerland today, the England skipper did just that.
With his converted penalty, Rooney tallied his 50th international goal, making him England’s all-time leading scorer. The previous record of 49 was held by the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton, a record which stood for 47 years until Rooney put it to bed tonight at Wembley Stadium.
The Manchester United striker has struggled for years to garner the kind of respect his accomplishments warrant, even with the peaks and valleys of his form. And indeed, plenty of fans and observers are already downplaying his achievement tonight. But it’s worth noting that Englishmen have been playing international football since 1872, and in all that time no one had scored 50 goals over the course of their career until tonight. The man who came closest held his record for almost half a century. Say what you will about Wayne Rooney, but scoring 50 international goals is no cakewalk.