Wayne Rooney equals Sir Bobby Charlton's England goals record

Wayne Rooney equalled England's all-time scoring record on Saturday after striking against San Marino to tie with Sir Bobby Charlton on 49 goals.

Manchester United star Rooney, 29, now has 49 goals from 106 games for his country -- level with Old Trafford great Sir Bobby -- after bagging a first-half penalty against the minnows.

The England captain had a couple of chances to break the record but was taken off for Harry Kane on 58 minutes as England went on to win 6-0.

Rooney told ITV Sport it was "a proud moment to equal Sir Bobby Charlton's record" and added: "My aim is to push on and try and help the team win on Tuesday [at home to Switzerland] and break the record.

"It would have been great if the record had happened tonight. Obviously the tradition of Wembley... to break the record at Wembley would be great.

"Since I joined Manchester United at 18, Sir Bobby has been in the dressing room after all the games.

"He has got a presence about him, he goes around and speaks to all of the players, in particular myself after England and United games.

"He comes in and gives me advice to try to help me and I am sure if there is anyone who would be happy for me to have broken his record, it would be him."

The Football Association are set to honour Rooney next month if he breaks the record against the Swiss on Sept. 8.

The likelihood of him doing so this month had always seemed high, with Roy Hodgson's side -- who have a 100 percent record in their qualifying group and guaranteed a place at the finals with Saturday's win -- facing San Marino before taking on the Swiss.

"We have qualified for the next tournament and want to improve in each game," Rooney said. "We are working on different things and want to keep pushing ourselves to get better.

"It is an opportunity now for us before the tournament with games where we can keep pushing ourselves.

"That is what we are playing this game for, to be successful as a team, and I would swap all of the goals for a winner's medal next summer."

Meanwhile, World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst said criticism of Rooney was not fair.

"Wayne is a terrific player, there is no argument about that. He is an outstanding player of his time and you can only be good at the time you are playing in," he told Press Association Sport.

"There has been a lot of comparison between him and Bobby Charlton and about whether it was easier to score goals then. There is a huge argument and interesting debate about whether it is or it isn't easier, but it can never be definitively answered.''

Hurst, whose three goals in the 1966 World Cup final were the most important of the 24 he managed during his international career, believes Rooney's lack of goals in tournaments is the reason he is criticised.

"The only criticism can be that he hasn't done it at the top level in the European Championships or at a World Cup -- that is not necessarily Wayne's fault,'' he added.

"If the team are not performing then there is not so much of an opportunity to progress into the final parts of the tournaments and if you aren't playing in the quarterfinals or semifinals you aren't scoring the goals.''

Before the recent European Championship qualifier against Lithuania, Rooney said he wants to emulate Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard by representing England into his mid-30s.

That could see him add plenty more caps and goals to his name, and Hurst believes he would set a tally that would take some beating.

"I'm positive about Wayne, and he deserves to beat the record,'' he said. "It hasn't been about luck, he will deserve it because he has been a regular and scored lots of goals.

"He has a lot of fuel let if the tank and, if he keeps himself fit, he could leave his own records when he finishes playing that are really tough to surpass."