Wayne Rooney spoke of his pride after equalling Bobby Charlton`s 45-year-old England scoring record of 49 goals in Saturday`s 6-0 win over San Marino in Serravalle.
An early penalty saw Rooney reach the milestone and an own goal, goals from Ross Barkley and Harry Kane and a Theo Walcott brace completed a routine win that made England the first team to qualify for next year`s European Championship in France.
England manager Roy Hodgson`s decision to withdraw Rooney in the 58th minute denied him a chance to claim the record outright, but he will have an opportunity to do so on Tuesday when Switzerland visit Wembley.
“It`s a proud moment to equal Sir Bobby Charlton`s record,” Rooney told ITV Sport at the Stadio Olimpico.
“My aim is to push on and try and help the team win on Tuesday and break the record.”
On a warm, dry evening, Rooney converted a 13th-minute penalty to put England in front after Cypriot referee Leontios Trattou spotted a foul in the box.
The goal gave the 29-year-old Manchester United striker an identical international record to Charlton, a member of England`s fabled 1966 World Cup-winning team, with his 49th goal coming in his 106th appearance.
“It would have been great if the record had happened tonight,” Rooney said. “Obviously the tradition of Wembley and to break the record at Wembley would be great.”
However, in a reflection of a 12-year England career that has to date yielded only disappointment at major tournaments, he added: “I would swap all these goals for a winner`s medal next summer.”
Rooney`s landmark strike arrived almost 12 years to the day after his first England goal in a World Cup qualifier against Macedonia in Skopje.
He is also closing in on Charlton`s United scoring record and requires 17 goals to surpass the former midfielder`s tally of 249.
But he is currently struggling for goals at club level. Despite a hat-trick in a recent Champions League play-off win away to Belgian side Club Brugge, Rooney has not scored a league goal since April.