Wayne Rooney believes that only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi could beat his goalscoring record at Manchester United after joining Everton.
The 31-year-old suffered a rapid descent down the pecking order at Old Trafford last season but still managed to beat Sir Bobby Charlton’s all time goalscoring record with an injury time free kick against Stoke City back in January.
He departed for Everton last month on a free transfer, closing the book on a 13 year career that saw him claim 12 major honours.
And Rooney, reflecting on his goalscoring record, noted that only the serial brilliance of the two best players in the world could threaten his total at Old Trafford.
“You never know, if they get someone like Messi or Ronaldo the record might get broken!” he said.
“But I think that in football now, players don’t really tend to stay at clubs for that long. The only way I can see it being broken is if someone stays for the same period of time that I did.
“It’s a great legacy to have left behind at United. I have got some great memories of a successful time for the club. It was great for me.
“I loved it there, loved working with the players, but it was the right time for me to move on and I feel I’ve certainly made the right decision.”
“To score that goal against Stoke for United last season was a highlight for me because of what it meant. It was a huge moment for me. But it was a special moment to beat Sir Bobby. It was a proud moment.”
The 31-year-old’s record is likely to remain forever untouched. He was, in many ways, the last member of a dying generation: both as an English player capable of terrorising top teams on the European stage and somebody who, despite the occasional tantrum, spent the entirety of his good years – and some of his not so good – at the same club.
He didn’t have what it took to sustain a place in Mourinho’s set-up but we as supporters shouldn’t resent him for that – not only because he will go down as one of the finest players this club has ever seen, but indeed because, even at the very end, the captain gave absolutely everything.