Wayne Rooney, England’s all-time record scorer with 53 goals, has retired from international football. You can read some numbers from his England career here.
As only seven of those goals were scored at major tournaments, this list of his five most memorable strikes is a little low on impact on the biggest stages…
England 2 Denmark 3 (November 16, 2003)
Rooney, then an 18-year-old Everton player, gave Manchester United fans a glimpse of his potential with a fine strike against the Danes at Old Trafford. The striker burst from the half-way line and took advantage of a fortuitous deflection off a Denmark player, before thundering a shot in off the underside of the crossbar from 15 yards. England lost the game 3-2, with a then-youthful pairing of Matthew Upson and John Terry struggling to contain the Danes.
Croatia 2 England 4 (June 21, 2004)
Ah, Euro 2004, Wayne Rooney’s one and only brilliant major tournament. England needed just a draw to qualify for the second round, but they went behind to Niko Kovac’s early strike. Paul Scholes equalised and Rooney then swung the game beyond Croatia with a 25-yard drive. He would then score another as England ran out 4-2 winners. Bloody hell, he was good that summer.
Here is an amusingly shaky video…
England 3 Argentina 2 (November 12, 2005)
Rooney was the best player on the park in what was one of the most fiercely-contested and enthralling friendlies in living memory. The then 20-year-old harassed the Argentina defence all night and got the goal he deserved in the 38th minute when he latched on to David Beckham’s flick-on and slotted the ball into the corner to equalise Hernan Crespo’s opener.
England 1 Ukraine 0 (June 19, 2012)
After sitting out the first two matches of Euro 2012 due to suspension, Rooney delivered on his return, bundling home at the back post to send England through to the second round. It was one of the easiest finishes of his England career but it was a vital strike.
Brazil 2 England 2 (June 2, 2013)
England were given the honour of being the first national team to visit the newly-rebuilt Maracana in Rio de Janeiro and Rooney scored a goal worthy of the occasion. With the score at 1-1, Rooney picked the ball up in the Brazil half and strolled towards goal before unleashing a 25-yard drive that flew right into the top corner. You can watch it in the video below…along with four other pretty decent strikes.