Scoring against San Marino in a Euro 2016 spot clincher, Wayne Rooney finally tied Bobby Charlton on top of the England national football team’s scoring charts, making it 49 goals in 106 caps for the national team, and now surely on his way to becoming the record holder for the Three Lions, leaving the likes of Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Frank Lampard behind.
Frank Lampard – 29 goals in 106 caps
Lampard appeared 106 times for England from 1999 to 2014, scoring 29 times. Three of his goals came in the Euro 2004 tournament, the only summer tournament he has scored in. He scored 16 more goals in various qualifying campaigns, including five in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.
Vivian Woodward – 29 goals in 23 caps
Woodward played for England from 1903 to 1911. He won two gold medals in the Olympic games (1908, 1912) playing for the Great Britain team. He played his club football for Tottenham and Chelsea.
Tom Finney – 30 goals in 76 caps
Finney played for the national side from 1946 to 1958, appearing in the three World Cups of the 1950s. Working as a plumber on the side, Finney was known as The Preston Plumber, and played his entire career for Preston North End.
Alan Shearer – 30 goals in 63 caps
Still the top scorer in the history of the Premier League (260 goals), Shearer played for England from 1992 to 2000, appearing in three Euro tournaments (1992, 1996, 2000) and playing in the 1998 World Cup. He has four goals in Euro 1996, two in the ’98 World Cup in two more in Euro 2000, while adding nine more goals in the various qualifying campaigns. He retired from the national team after Euro 2000.
Nat Lofthouse – 30 goals in 33 caps
A Bolton legend (played his entire club career for them) and a part of the 1954 England World Cup squad, Lofthouse remains one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the national team with his impressive goal scoring average. He is seventh in the list of English football’s top division goalscorers with 255 goals.
Michael Owen – 40 goals in 89 caps
Owen was always expected to be the one who broke Charlton’s record, but things didn’t turn out that way. He was still 18 when appearing for England in the 1998 World Cup and scoring that famous goal against Argentina and kept playing for the national side through 2008, appearing in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups as well, along with Euro 2000 and 2004. He scored two goals in 2007 against Russia, becoming the first player to score international goals at both the old and new Wembley Stadiums. Those were his final goals for England.
Jimmy Greaves – 44 goals in 57 caps
Besides being extremely prolific for the national side, he is the all-time leading goalscorer in the top flight of English football with 357 goals. He played in England’s crowning moment, the 1966 World Cup, although lost his way along the way to Geoff Hurst due to an injury. His six hat tricks for the national side are also a record for England.
Gary Lineker – 48 goals in 80 caps
Lineker came extremely close but retired from the national side after Euro 1992, where he failed to score and England put on an abysmal performance. Lineker played for the national side from 1984, appearing in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, scoring six goals in these tournaments. He scored four goals in one match twice for England: Against Malaysia and against Spain.
Bobby Charlton – 49 goals in 106 caps
Charlton is a Ballon d’Or winner in 1966, the year he helped England win the World Cup while hosting the tournament. He also played in the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups and the 1968 Euro tournament. He started playing for England in 1958, and his goalscoring record was untouched, until Rooney scored against San Marino, for 45 years, his final one coming against Colombia in 1970.
Wayne Rooney – 50 goals in 107 caps
It’s remarkable that Rooney scored his 49th goal on exactly his 106th cap, tying his record with Bobby Charlton. His 50th game in a win over Switzerland, from the penalty spot. Rooney has been playing for the national side since 2003, appearing in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and also the 2004 and 2012 Euros. He has six goals in the major summer competitions and 30 more in the different qualifying tournaments, including six in the 2016 qualifiers.