FOOTBALL : Sir Bobby Charlton has been encouraged by Wayne Rooney’s growing maturity and insists he would relish the Manchester United forward surpassing his own England goalscoring record.
Sir Bobby Charlton has been encouraged by Wayne Rooney’s growing maturity and insists he would relish the Manchester United forward surpassing his own England goalscoring record.
Charlton has 49 goals for his country and Rooney’s recent burst over the last year puts him more than halfway there, on 25, with next week’s friendly against Brazil another chance to add to his tally.
“Nothing would give me greater pleasure,” the United and England legend said. “I would be dead chuffed if that happened.”
He added: “I think he is a terrific player, inspirational, and people like him. As along as he doesn’t get suspended for arguing with referees or doing something daft on the pitch – he is learning rapidly and doing less and less of that.”
Charlton was at Wembley for the unveiling of a bust of Sir Alf Ramsey, the manager of the 1966 World Cup-winning team which he played in.
He sees similarities between Ramsey and current boss Fabio Capello, in terms of them both being disciplinarians.
“He reminds me of Fabio Capello. No question,” he said. “His history has always been as a tough character but he gets teams to listen and perform to their best.
“I think England have a great chance of winning.
“I’m not getting carried away because it’s a tough game and you are playing against the best in the world.
“It would be sensational if we could win but I don’t want to put any more pressure on them.”