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Nov 16, 2012

Rooney chasing Charlton's records

Wayne Rooney has set himself the ultimate challenge by aiming to emulate the feats of Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton.

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Rooney, 27, is targeting the goalscoring records of Charlton for both club and country as a motivating factor to maintain his good form.

With 49 international goals and 249 club goals during his career, Sir Bobby Charlton is the most prolific scorer in United and England history, but Rooney is not afraid to attempt to rewrite the record books.

"Sir Bobby Charlton holds both [records] so that's a great challenge," he told Shortlist. "The guy is a legend and is such a presence around the club.

"If I could break his record as Manchester United's top goalscorer and maybe even England's...wow! That is such a great incentive."

Rooney has already scored 32 goals for England and 185 for United, although the goal tally has dried up since he moved into a midfield role at Old Trafford.

Despite the switch, Rooney believes he has the ability and longevity to emulate Charlton's feats, attributing the influence of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes as critical to his drive to succeed.

"I want to play as long as I can and to have shared a dressing room with the likes of Giggsy and Paul Scholes is inspiration to do just that," he said. "At least another 10 years would be great.

"I can see myself one day moving back into midfield - I can do it - but I'm not ready yet. I'm a centre forward and I score goals. I feel I have plenty of goals left in me. I'll play there [midfield] if I have to and I have done so at United, but goals are still my main aim and the biggest part of my game."

Rooney was left out of the England side that was defeated 4-2 by Sweden on Wednesday while he recovers from an ankle injury.

Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson added his praise for Rooney and admits the striker has had to rise above immense pressure to perform.

"Rooney is a top-class player," Hodgson said. "We have to hope he can produce top performances. I believe in Wayne Rooney very strongly, as of course do Manchester United.

"You don't have to do anything specific to get the best out of Wayne. We know the ability he has and his commitment to the cause.

"Alex Ferguson has done it very well down the years but, of course, there's a lot of pressure and if he doesn't have a good game a lot of questions are asked of him. That's the responsibility he bears."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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