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Wayne Rooney’s top five England moments

The England legend announced his retirement from international today. RealSport look at his top five moments in a Three Lions shirt.


Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from international football. As a tribute to England’s record goalscorer, RealSport picks out five of Rooney’s best international moments.

  1. 1 England debut vs. Australia


    Where else to start, than Rooney's debut. Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson awarded Rooney his debut when he was just 17 years old, against Australia. 

    Rooney had already been making strides in the Premier League and became England's youngest ever capped player when he came on as a sub. However, it wasn't the dream debut as England lost 3-1 at Upton Park, failing to get on the scoresheet.

    It was still a momentous occasion for Rooney however, and just the start of a a brilliant career for his country.

  2. 2 First England goal vs. Macedonia


    Later on in 2003, in his sixth appearance for England, Rooney netted his first goal for the Three Lions against Macedonia. 

    It was in a 2004 European Qualifying game and a fine strike too. The ball was floated into Emile Heskey who knocked it down to the edge of the box for Rooney to run onto and drove a rasping half volley into the bottom corner. 

    It was the first of many.

  3. 3 Euro 2004


    This competition is where Rooney truly announced himself into the international stage. 

    He was exceptional against the holders France, before netting four goals in two games against Switzerland and Croatia. England bowed out on penalties to Portugal in a penalty shoot out in the quarter finals where Rooney got injured. 

    How different the tournament could have panned out had Rooney stayed fit.

  4. 4 2010 World Cup qualifiers


    Probably Rooney's finest period in an England shirt. He was on fire during the qualifiers and arguably in the top five players in Europe. 

    His qualifying campaign was summed up when he netted the fifth goal in a 5-1 demolition of a strong Croatia side at Wembley. 

    That was his ninth goal of the qualifiers alone, which made him the second highest goalscorer of European qualification.

  5. 5 Record-breaking goal


    It was inevitable for a while that it was only a matter of time before Rooney became England's greatest ever goalscorer, but that didn't make the moment any less special. 

    Sir Bobby Charlton's original record of 49 goals for England had stood strong for 45 years, outlasting strikers such as Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Michael Owen. 

    However, at Wembley in September 2015, Rooney crashed home a penalty against Switzerland to net his 50th goal for the Three Lions and become his country's all time, highest goalscorer.

For the nostalgic Wayne Rooney appreciators out there, here are 50 of his England goals....

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Harry Brooks

Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!

Wayne Rooney’s top five England moments

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