Manager believes striker could topple Sir Bobby Charlton's England goalscoring mark.

Wayne Rooney will be challenged by manager Roy Hodgson to break Sir Bobby Charlton's England goalscoring record of 49 during qualifying for Euro 2016. Rooney has 38 goals and Hodgson believes he can become England's leading scorer.

"We would want that," said Hodgson of the 28-year-old striker.

"In terms of international goals he is definitely up there. He's a massive football man. He lives for football. Football is his life. There are plenty of other players we have at the moment who are 33, 34 and are still going strong, still doing good jobs for their club and country, so why not Wayne?"

Having made his international debut against Australia at Upton Park on February 12, 2003, Rooney's 38 goals have come in 88 games, across 6619 minutes, a goal every 174 minutes. Rooney is now within two goals of Michael Owen's 40 with Jimmy Greaves in third on 44, Gary Lineker second with 48 and then Charlton.


Rooney is also chasing Charlton's Manchester United goalscoring landmark of 249. Denis Law is second with 237, Jack Rowley third with 211 and then Rooney on 209. Rooney has just signed a new f 5-year deal at United.

Rooney had just 18 months left on his previous deal and was a transfer target for Chelsea last year, sparking speculation he could leave.

The new contract will reportedly pay the 28-year-old 300,000 ($600,000) a week, with Rooney also set to stay at United as a club ambassador when he eventually retires.

"I'm very pleased for him, for United and for us," said Hodgson. "I've got every faith that he would have come to the World Cup with England and been focused whatever the situation.

"But I can't deny that it's tremendous that, so early in the season, he's signed a new contract and committed his long-term future. He's probably going to be a two-club man, and most of that will be at Manchester United [having started at Everton]. It is an advantage, no doubt, and I'm pleased for everyone concerned."

Hodgson suggested that Rooney could succeed Steven Gerrard as England captain if the Liverpool midfielder sticks to his earlier suggestion that he would retire internationally after the 2014 World Cup finals.

"Wayne, I'm sure, is a future captain of England because we are losing some of the famous players of the past who have served England so well," said Hodgson. "Maybe when the day comes for Steven Gerrard to hang up his boots, Wayne will be straight in there I'm sure."

Gerrard's Liverpool teammate, Jon Flanagan, has been tipped for a first call after a series of promising performances for his club. "We've got a meeting [on Monday] with Ray [Lewington], Gary [Neville] and I which we always do, a serious sit-down meeting. We'll look at our options," Hodgson said.


"We aren't awash with Englishmen playing in the Premier League on a regular basis and doing well. Any Englishman who's playing in his club team on a regular basis has half a chance."

Hodgson has just returned from Brazil where he attended a Fifa coaches' workshop and also visited Manaus where England play their first World Cup game against Italy.

Hodgson has to give Fifa a 30-man long-list of players by May 13 with the 23-man final squad by June 2. The FA is currently considering the best ways of Hodgson announcing the squad with one possibility being beaming huge pictures of the selected players on to the side of Wembley.