Wayne Rooney must deliver at a major championships to be remembered as an England great, says coach Roy Hodgson.
The Manchester United forward is two goals short of Sir Bobby Charlton’s national scoring record of 49.
But Hodgson says Rooney must do more than break a goals record if he is to rival Charlton’s legacy.
“To do it, a player would have to be very successful at a European Championship or World Cup as Bobby Charlton was,” he said.
While Charlton lifted the World Cup with England in 1966, Rooney is yet to progress beyond the quarter-finals in five major finals.
“People would argue Bobby was England’s best ever player – there wouldn’t be many of my age who would have him outside the top three,” said Hodgson, 67.
“If Wayne can break into that in the future when he stops playing, then that is fantastic for him.
“Bobby Charlton, for me, is up there on a pedestal and it will take time for any of the modern-day players to get up to that level.”
Rooney, who scored his 47th international goal in
may have another opportunity to match Charlton’s record in Tuesday’s friendly against Italy in Turin, when England will be
Seven wins in a row since last summer’s early World Cup exit have put England firmly on course for qualification for Euro 2016 – and provided Rooney with another chance for success on the international stage.
But however England fare for the remainder of Rooney’s international career, Hodgson says he is confident his captain will still be remembered by fans.
“He will be remembered,” said Hodgson. “We don’t have that many players who have played 100 games for England or captained England, so don’t worry about Wayne Rooney not being remembered – he will be.”