Analysis

Wayne Rooney vs Bobby Charlton: who's got the best England scoring record?

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

3) European Championship finals

Wayne Rooney: 6 (5); 1 goal every 1.2 games
Bobby Charlton: 2 (1); 1 goal every 2.0 games

Talk about missed opportunities.

Rooney announced himself at Euro 2004, grabbing four goals in four games. His opener, the first in a brace against Switzerland, made him the youngest player to score in the competition (though that only lasted four days before Swiss forward Johan Vonlanthen went on to beat it). Until injury halted his (and England's) progression in the quarter-finals against Portugal, Rooney looked unstoppable.

This is arguably his international highlight so far. Steve McClaren's side failed to qualify in 2008 and Rooney has only scored one European Championship goal since. That strike came in 2012 when, after a two-game suspension, he grabbed the winner against Ukraine. He did score in the penalty shootout against Italy in the next round, but that doesn't count here.

For Charlton, his one European Championship goal was bittersweet. England had been knocked out of the 1968 competition at the semi-final stage by Yugoslavia, a game in which he hit the woodwork. In the third place play-off, he netted his 46th England goal against the Soviet Union.

One suspects both players will look upon their tallies in this category and wonder what if.

Rooney's Euro 2004 was memorable

VERDICT: Rooney, hands down. His 100% record in the 2004 finals, twinned with another strike in his next two appearances, edge him ahead of Charlton. There's also a feeling that his force-of-nature debut might have carried England further had he not picked up an injury.