Wayne Rooney’s international career is over.
Despite the fact the man once dubbed the ‘White Pele’ bowed out as England’s all-time top scorer, more than a few reacted to the news by labelling him a failure on the international stage.
Rooney is seen as the personification of England’s ‘Golden Generation’ and their frustrations when it came to tournaments.
But the fact is he was a magnificent servant for his country and his numbers reflect that.
Here are nine globally-respected, world-class forwarrds who scored FEWER than Rooney’s 53 goals at international level…
1 Raul (44 goals)
Real Madrid ultimate poacher/goal machine for years.
He pre-dated Spain’s trophy-hoarding crop but still led the line for one of world football’s best teams for a decade.
Still though, comfortably shy of Rooney’s tally.
2 Andriy Shevchenko (48 goals)
The Eastern Wind was one of the most-feared finishers in the world in the early 2000s.
A veteran of 111 caps for Ukraine he fell short of his half-century in terms of goals.
3 Alessandro Del Piero (27 goals)
Sure he played slightly deeper than some of the others on this list but he is still regarded of a world-class forward.
The World Cup-winning Italian had class and style in abundance but when it comes to international goals, he’s not in Rooney’s league.
4 Hernan Crespo (35 goals)
The long-locked Argentine No9 was a serial tormentor of Serie A defences at club level.
Capable of scoring all types of goals he clocked out 18 short of Rooney’s 53.
5 Thierry Henry (51 goals)
France’s all-time leading scorer is also left found wanting by Rooney.
Henry notched up his fifty before hanging up his boots on 123 caps.
6 Davor Suker (45 goals)
One for the slightly older heads out there.
The 1998 World Cup Golden Boot winner had an insatiable appetite for goals and was at his very best in the red and white cheque of Croatia.
Still, not quite Rooney.
7 Diego Forlan (36 goals)
Before Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, Forlan was Uruguay’s deadliest shot.
His unique brand of forward play unearthed 36 international goals — not bad, not Rooney.
8 Dimitar Berbatov (48 goals)
The Bulgarian target man scored 48 international goals without breaking a sweat, mostly because he refused to run.
His first touch could stop a runaway train but he called time on his international career early, denying him entry to the coveted 50+ club.
9 Robin Van Persie (50 goals)
Okay, RVP coudl still go ahead of his old Man United team-mate as he is still an active international player.
The 34-year-old leads the way in terms of goals for the Netherlands — ahead of Patrick Kluivert, Dennis Bergkamp, Ruud van Nistelrooy and many more potent goalscorers.
At the time of writing though, all of them are left looking up at Rooney.
You can’t help feel that Rooney won’t be fully appreciated until he has retired from the game completely.
As United and England’s greatest ever goalscorer he is a modern great and deserving of legendary status.
Thanks for the service, Wayne.
You did your country proud.
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