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Rooney’s International Career: Flop or Legend?



Wayne Rooney

With a game left to play for England before finally ending his international career, accolades are pouring in for former Manchester United striker and captain Wayne Rooney.

It should be recalled that the England’s all-time leading goalscorer retired from international football in 2017, however, he is set to come out of retirement to feature against USA later tonight.

Rooney became England’s youngest player when he had his debut appearance in 2003 after coming in the second half against Australia in a friendly match.

He became the youngest player to score for the Three Lions when he found the back of the net against Macedonia in Euro 2004 qualifying match.

Another record created by the former Everton man was when he became the country’s highest goalscorer with 53 goals.

Despite all of his achievements and records, many fans and pundits believe Rooney hasn’t done well to be regarded as a legend.

They faulted his impact on the country’s inability to get through to the 2006 FIFA World Cup final.

Having negotiated their way through to the quarter-final match of the tournament, there were high hopes that Wayne Rooney and his teammates would make it to the final match.

Surprisingly, Sven-Göran Eriksson’s men were defeated by Portugal via penalty kicks, no thanks to a Red card picked up by the young striker.

After Rooney’s dismissal, England who were dominating their opponents became inferior and were overpowered by the Portuguese team who went on to take the day.

Rooney had little or no influence on the country’s performance when it comes to major tournaments. Just like the 2006 world cup, the striker was ineffective during the 2010 South Africa World cup as the country couldn’t progress past round of 16 when they lost 4-1 to Germany.

2014 World cup hosted by Brazil was another one to forget for the 33-year-old playmaker.

Though he scored two goals during the tournament, Rooney was far from impressive as he saw his country crash out of the tournament after three games.

Is Rooney an England flop or Legend?

Playing 119 international matches is a landmark achievement, one that should be celebrated.

He is the second player with most cap for England, six matches behind Peter Shilton, who had 125 caps for the team.

Rooney is surely a legend considering he’s the top scorer for a country that had produced world-class players including Stephen Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker among others.

However, he could have done better with the team during major tournaments so as to be fully regarded as a legend and a great player.

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