Wayne Rooney says that his generation of English stars would have won more at the international level with a manager of Pep Guardiola’s calibre in charge.
The former England star amassed 120 caps during his time with the Three Lions, becoming the team’s all-time leading goalscorer in the process.
He starred at six tournaments at the senior level with the national team but failed to bring home any major honours despite playing alongside some of the best players to ever play the game.
Rooney’s played under the likes of Sven-Goran Eriksson, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson during his international career, but he believes that the team could have reached a much higher level under someone like Manchester City’s current boss.
“I watch [England] with excitement and happiness when they are winning,” he said on the Wayne Rooney Podcast.
“You look at our team 10 years ago and arguably we had the best group of players in world football.
“Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ashley Cole, [Steven] Gerrard, [Paul] Scholes, [Frank] Lampard, [David] Beckham, myself, Michael Owen – our team then, if we had a Guardiola with that group of players, we’d have won everything, no doubt about it.”
Rooney currently holds England’s goalscoring record, having fired 53 goals to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton’s tally of 49 during his international career.
But Rooney, who retired from the international game in 2018 following a send-off friendly against the U.S. national team, says that he believes his time as record-holder could be short-lived.
The D.C. United forward says Harry Kane appears to be next on the list to set the record, with the Spurs forward having already scored 26 times at the international level.
“I never take goals for granted, I love scoring them. Once I got to 35 for England, I could feel the record getting close,” Rooney said.
“I don’t think it’ll stand for 50 years like Bobby Charlton’s, I think Harry Kane, possibly the next two or three years will… He’s a fantastic goalscorer and his record for England is fantastic.
“When I got the record and then went back for my last game I said it would be an honour to go and present him like Bobby Charlton presented me with the golden boot and I’m sure it won’t be before too long.”