It took 84 minutes and the chance to score from a penalty, but the Manchester United man passed Sir Bobby Charlton’s record against Switzerland at Wembley Stadium.
It was as emphatic a penalty as you are likely to see. In the 84th minute of his 107th appearance forEngland, Wayne Rooney made history.
They already led 1-0 thanks to substitute Harry Kane’s superbly taken goal midway through the second half, but the 75,751 fans at Wembley had come to see Rooney net his record-breaking 50th goal for the Three Lions.
And when Raheem Sterling went down easily under the challenge of Granit Xhaka, the stage was set. Rooney hammered the ball high into the net from 12 yards, and Sir Bobby Charlton’s record had gone.
Twelve years on from his debut as a child prodigy, Rooney has now set a mark that is likely to last for some time. It took 45 years for Charlton’s 49-goal mark to fall, and by the time the Manchester United skipper is done he may well have set a figure that is practically insurmountable.
Rooney could have been a history-maker much earlier in the night. His first sight of goal came 17 minutes in when he found space on the left of the box and slid the ball across Yann Sommer but saw his effort glide narrowly wide of the far post.
After a couple of half-chances from headers he then stung the palms of the Swiss keeper with an explosive first-time shot