Wayne Rooney “thoroughly deserves” his status as England’s record goalscorer, says former striker Alan Shearer.
Rooney, 29, scored in the Euro 2016 qualifying win over Switzerland to overtake Sir Bobby Charlton as the national side’s highest goalscorer.
“When you look at how long the record has stood then he should be a very proud person,” Shearer told BBC Sport.
Shearer played 63 times for England, scoring 30 goals, before retiring from international football in 2000 aged 29.
Rooney was given his debut by Sven-Goran Eriksson in February 2003, coming on as a half-time substitute against Australia. Just six months later, he became England’s youngest scorer, netting in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia.
His 50 goals have come in 107 caps – one game more than previous record holder Charlton.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to have stayed at the top for so many years,” said Shearer.
“He’s been around for so many years and no-one has come in and taken the shirt off him and I can’t see anyone doing that for the next few years.”
Rooney has only scored six goals in major tournaments – four times at Euro 2004, once at Euro 2012 and once at the 2014 World Cup. However, only 12 of his goals have come in friendly matches, so is he worthy of the record?
“The accusation that will always be thrown at him is that he hasn’t produced at a major tournament,” added Shearer.
“I can understand that and also people will say there are easier games nowadays, but his record goals per games is excellent.
“It’s not his fault extra teams or so-called weaker teams were put in competitions. He did his job, he scored goals and he broke the record.”