Sunday, 8 January 2017

Record breaking Rooney stands on the cusp of history

Ever since he burst on to the scene as a fiery 16-year-old at Everton, we've known that Wayne Rooney was special and on Saturday he took an indelible step towards further greatness. 

 Rooney has secured his place in United history and Old Trafford's hall of fame with his record-equalling feats.

His seventh minute strike against Reading was his 249th for United as he moved levelled with legendary club icon Sir Bobby Charlton in the club stakes. 

It is surely only a matter of time before he stands alone and, given his personal history against his boyhood enemy, how fitting would it be if he did so against Liverpool on Sunday. 

He's won everything there is to win in the English game, has broken nearly every record going
and became England's all time leading scorer in September 2015.
Rooney's 194 goals is the second-highest total in Premier League history - only Alan Shearer has more - and he's hit double figures in each of his 12 seasons at United. 

Even if he did not get anywhere near Sir Bobby's record for the club, Rooney deserves to be mentioned in the same breath of United's pantheon of legends. 

What cannot be ignored is that Rooney's stellar Old Trafford career has been littered with trophies, brilliance and match-winning moments.

When judged in a purely football context, the skipper's contribution to both club and country has been a great one, but yet he does not get the credit he deserves.

Sir Bobby will, rightly so, forever be adored and loved in the English game as a World Cup winning hero who helped the club rise from the ashes of Munich.
Rooney, despite his longevity and highly decorated career, remains an unappreciated - even divisive -  figure in the eyes of many. 

There were the two episodes of his "will-he-won't he" transfer saga, frequent outbursts of his firebrand, sometimes out of control temper and Rooney - unlike those before him - is an expensive export from Merseyside. 

Despite his lofty place in the record books, Rooney will never be revered by our fans in the same manner as maverick catalyst Eric Cantona, the great leaders Roy Keane and Bryan Robson and the brilliant home grown talents of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. 

Yes, his star has flickered and dwindled in recent years but that's surely a natural process for a player in his 30s and Saturday proved that Rooney still has a lot to offer for club and country. 

Rooney has to be right up there with the greatest players our country has ever had and deserves to be recognised as such. 

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