London, Sep 8 (IANS) On the verge becoming the all-time top scorer in an England jersey, striker Wayne Rooney insists that he will always be available for his national team as long as his body holds out.
Rooney equalled Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals when he found the net during the 6-0 rout of San Marino in an European Championship qualifier.
The Manchester United star will surpass the legendary Charlton at the top of the national team’s scoring charts, and become the 44th player to score 50 goals in international football, if he registers against Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday.
Rooney, who scored his first international goal against Macedonia 12 years ago, asserted that his desire to represent England remains as strong as ever and he wants to achieve a lot more at the international level.
“I feel I’ve got still quite a lot of games left to play for England. If I was sat here saying ‘I just want to get 50 goals’, then I’d be lying. I’d be disappointed if I ended my England career on 50 goals.
“I want to kick on and try to score as many goals as I can. I’ve still got plenty of games to do that. Hopefully by the time I finish playing it will be more goals than 50. As long as the manager wants me, then I will be available to play,” Rooney was quoted as saying by the British media on Tuesday.
“I won’t be one to say I’m not available for selection,” he added. “I’m sure it’ll probably be the manager’s choice more than mine. It’s a huge honour to play for England.”
The victory in San Marino secured England’s spot at Euro 2016 in France which will be Rooney’s seventh major international tournament for his country.
But the 29-year-old has no plans to stop there and wants to continue playing for England beyond the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“I feel I’m capable of going to Russia. After that, it may be a realistic time to see how I feel and if I feel it’s not right for England or myself, I’ll have a decision to make.
“Realistically 2018 is a target for me, to go and play that World Cup, and then we will see what happens in terms of the manager or myself. I’ll listen to my body but, if I still feel 100 percent fit for England and I can do my job, then we will see what happens after that,” he said.
“If I feel I can carry on, I’ll try. But if the manager says he doesn’t feel I’m in his plans for the next tournament, it’s probably better I don’t play in the qualifying games because I won’t be going to the tournament.”
Rooney also claimed that he had made up with Sir Alex Ferguson despite having differences of opinion with the former Manchester United manager during his last season at Old Traford.
“We had differences (of opinion) but that’s normal. Ask Roy (Hodgson). He’s had differences with players over the years, too. That’s part of football. I’m not the only person who had differences with Sir Alex Ferguson but I can still sit here and say he was the greatest manager of all time,” Rooney stated.
“I still see Sir Alex quite a bit at games and he travels away to European games with us. It’s not that we don’t like each other. We just had differences. That’s normal.”