Wayne Rooney has hailed his achievement in becoming England’s all-time leading goalscorer as ‘possibly the greatest moment of his career’.
Rooney grabbed his 50th goal for his country with an 84th-minute penalty in the 2-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Switzerland at Wembley.
Rooney told ITV Sport: “It’s right up there, if not the best. To be the country’s all-time leading goalscorer before the age of 30 is not something I could ever have dreamed of and I’m extremely proud tonight.
“I was a bit emotional out there and it’s something to be extremely proud of. I’m happy it’s done and hopefully I can kick on from here and concentrate on the team and our success in the future.”
Rooney slammed his spot-kick past Swiss keeper Yann Sommer after Raheem Sterling was fouled in the box before being congratulated by his delighted team-mates.
Rooney added: “I knew myself it was a big moment for me and I just picked my corner and put my boot through it to get as much power as possible and make it hard for the keeper. He got a touch but thankfully it had too much power.
“I went through a spell around 2008 when I didn’t score for two years for England, and since Roy’s (manager Roy Hodgson) come in I’ve scored a lot of goals and I’m grateful to Roy for letting me play with the freedom that I enjoy.”
Hodgson hailed Rooney’s exploits as an “amazing achievement” and spared a thought for Sir Bobby Charlton, whose record Rooney managed to eclipse.
Hodgson said: “My mind at this time also goes to Bobby Charlton because he was one of our greatest ever players and I’m hoping he’ll be pleased that his record has been surpassed.
“You think records will never get broken but then they do get broken and nothing like that really concerns me.
“We enjoyed the moment with him and we will see what the future brings, but the most important thing we have to do is make sure we keep improving our performances because today we didn’t play as well as we could have done and we were fortunate to come out 2-0 winners.
“The first half we weren’t anything like we could be or the level of performances we’ve shown but at half-time the players pulled themselves together and in the second half they played better.”