Unfortunately for him, Wayne Rooney had to wait through the Christmas period until 2017 to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record for his club Manchester United, but the moment finally came in the FA Cup third round over last weekend.
The legendary England striker had been stuck on 248 goals since November, just one goal shy of Bobby Charlton’s final number, but the visit of Jaap Stam’s Reading presented a golden opportunity for Rooney to finally get the monkey off his back.
You can now bet on the Premier League with best odds of 250/1 available from the bookmakers on Wayne Rooney to be the Top Goalscorer but that’s only a football bet for the eternally optimistic.
In recent years he has been seen as more of a midfielder, but his effectiveness in front of goal has never been in question.
The Manchester United captain greeted his landmark achievement with a small fist pump and the PA announcer at Old Trafford mentioned the new record while reading out the scorer’s name to the crowd.
Sir Bobby Charlton himself was also in attendance to witness his record matched by the 31-year old. Rooney burst onto the scene as a spotty sixteen year old what seems like a lifetime ago for Everton and stunned the football world with his poise and scoring ability.
After the final whistle, the Man United skipper could not hide his delight after being stuck on 248 goals since November:
“It’s a proud moment to do it at a massive club like Manchester United,” he told BT Sport. “I’m hugely honoured to play for this football club. To be up there in terms of goals with Sir Bobby is a huge honour. Hopefully, I’ll be up there on my own soon.”
Rooney now has his sights set on breaking Sir Bobby’s record – which has stood since the former midfielder left the club in 1973 – and next Sunday’s game against bitter rivals Liverpool who sit in 2nd place in the league, could provide a fitting occasion if Rooney fails to get on the scoresheet against Hull City in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.
Wayne Rooney has already broken the same record for his country and almost in spite of a continuous question mark over the ability he retains, the scouse wizard keeps driving forward and maintains the trust and loyalty of his managers to be captain of both club and country.
How long he can go on for is anyone’s guess, but he still has a lot to offer the game and he still has that record to break.
Of course, all players want to break a record in front of their home fans and with plenty of suitable fixtures coming up at the “Theatre Of Dreams” Old Trafford, the stage is set for Wayne Rooney to shine.
Jose Mourinho has assembled a hugely exciting squad of players around Rooney and on the evidence of recent weeks, Manchester United are beginning to find their renowned style once again.