He’s ranked fourth in the list of England’s top scorers with 43 goals, but which comes in as Rooney’s best whilst playing for the Three Lions?
5. Estonia, Euro 2016 Qualifier
Away in Estonia, England were struggling against a stern defence, despite the hosts being earlier reduced to 10 men. At 0-0 with just under 15 minutes to play, Rooney stepped up to take a free-kick, curling the ball neatly inside the post. The performance in Tallinn was substandard, but Rooney’s class ensured England collected a hard-fought three points.
4. Iceland, Friendly, 2004
England warmed up for Euro 2004 by thumping Kerry Katona’s Iceland 6-1 at the home of Manchester City. Rooney bagged twice in a comfortable victory, but it is Rooney’s second that stands out. The 18-year-old dispatched a loose ball into the side netting from around 30 yards out, giving fans a taste of what was to come from the wonderkid in the upcoming tournament.
3. Croatia (1st), Euro 2004
By the end of the group stages at Euro 2004, there was one man making all of the headlines as England qualified as runners up. Wayne Rooney, at just 18, was the top scorer with four goals so far, and fast developing into the best young prodigy in Europe. Still with Everton, Rooney had already fired a brace against Switzerland, and was the catalyst as England recovered from 1-0 down to beat Croatia 4-2. On the stroke of half-time, Rooney struck a shot from 25 yards past the Croat keeper to give England the lead going into the break, giving the team precious momentum to grab the win.
2. Macedonia, Euro 2004 Qualifier
At 17 years old, Wayne Rooney became England’s youngest ever scorer when he levelled against Macedonia in a heated atmosphere in Skopje. Having trailed against one of England’s bogey teams, Rooney smashed home from outside the box for his maiden international strike. David Beckham scored the winner with a late penalty, but it was all about Rooney who had rewritten the record books that night. Can you imagine how he must have celebrated that night?
1. Brazil, Friendly, 2013
England were under pressure at the Maracana against Brazil, who were far from ordinary as they won the Confederations Cup later that summer. Brazil were shooting from everywhere, as Joe Hart starred in the England net, but two strikes of genuine quality from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rooney gave England a surprise lead. Rooney’s goal may have taken a slight deflection, but after a run from defence brought England forwards, the Manchester United forward curled a shot that would surely had beaten
Buzz Lightyear Julio Cesar anyway. Had England recorded a famous victory, Rooney’s goal would have been more memorable. However, current Spurs flop, Paulinho, scored a late volley, which probably secured him his long-awaited move to North London.