England manager Roy Hodgson has backed Wayne Rooney to score plenty more for his country after he became the all-time top goalscorer. Rooney scored a late penalty in the 2-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday night, moving ahead of Sir Bobby Charlton with his 50th international goal.
Hodgson hailed the 29-year-old and backed him to keep firing in the goals for England up to and including the 2018 World Cup.
“I’m delighted first and foremost for Wayne Rooney and his breaking of the record and scoring his 50th goal, showing such courage on the penalty to really blast it into the roof of the net,” he told reporters.
“It depends how long he plays. We’re on about 10 games a year these days – a bit more if we did quite well in a tournament.
“You’d like to think he’s going to continue to at least 2018, so you might be talking 20, even 30 games. At his rate of scoring, you’re looking at 10 to 15 goals I think.
“I know Wayne well enough to know he’s really delighted tonight. When you speak to him, he’ll tell you what a proud moment it is for him and his family, and so it should be.
“But I don’t think Wayne Rooney’s got in his head ‘how many am I going to score for England’, what he’s got is ‘how can I help England become a better team, how can I make sure like Sir Bobby Charlton that I end up as a winner at a tournament’.”
The FA have confirmed they will be presenting Rooney with a special golden boot ahead of the next qualifier against Estonia in October.
Hodgson also revealed the skipper spoke of his pride to his team-mates after the game at Wembley Stadium, and that he is targeting even more goals.
“I provoked him into giving a speech – it was a very good speech but very short, as it should be,” he added.
“The one thing that struck me was how proud he was to have achieved that, how determined he is not to stop at 50.”
He added: “His maturity has impressed me, and the way he’s accepted the captaincy. I gave him the captaincy – I believed in him as a captain and trusted him as a captain.
“So I’m not surprised about it but I’m really pleased with the way he’s taken on that extra burden. He’s taken it on while still trying to score those goals that would take him to number one.
“The other thing that impresses me about him is his constant passion, his enthusiasm in training sessions, in the meetings we have, in the games.
“There’s no question he’s sitting back going ‘look at me, I’m a legend, I’ve got 50 goals’ – he’s still out there working as hard as the young 19-year-old playing his early games in the team.
“There’s so much to say about him but maybe that will suffice.”