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FOOTBALL

Rooney claims record in England win over Swiss

Football veteran Wayne Rooney admitted he was overcome with emotion as he broke Bobby Charlton's 45-year-old England scoring record with his 50th international goal in his country's 2-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday.

Rooney claims record in England win over Swiss
Rooney makes history against Swiss. Photo; AFP

The England captain slammed a penalty into the top-left corner in the 84th minute at Wembley Stadium to put Roy Hodgson's side two goals up after Harry Kane had opened the scoring in the Euro 2016 qualifier.

Rooney's goal took the 29-year-old Manchester United striker past Charlton's mark, which had stood since May 1970, and made him the first England player to score a half-century of goals.

It came on his 107th appearance for his country, which is one more than Charlton achieved during a storied international career that took in England's triumph on home soil at the 1966 World Cup.

Rooney pointed to the sky in celebration and appeared to wipe away tears after being granted a standing ovation by the majority of the 75,751 fans in attendance.

Asked if the magnitude of the moment had overwhelmed him, Rooney said: “I was bit emotional, it's a huge honour and one I am extremely proud of.

“It's a great feeling. I've been close for the last few games and it's a dream come true.”

Despite being so desperate to break the record, Rooney said he was able to keep his nerves in check as he dispatched his ice-cool penalty.

“I knew it was a big moment and just picked my corner and put my foot through it,” he added.

“To be the record scorer before the age of 30 is nothing I could have imagined.”

Proud moment

Charlton was quick to salute Rooney's achievement, although he admitted he was a little disappointed to lose the record.

“I would like to congratulate Wayne on becoming England's leading goalscorer. I have always been very proud to hold this record,” he said.

“I obviously cannot deny that I am disappointed that I now don't hold this record, however, I am absolutely delighted that it is Wayne, as captain of my beloved club and country, who now holds this record.

“On behalf of myself and everyone at Manchester United I would like to say congratulations Wayne, this is a very proud moment for you and your family.

“It is a record that I am sure you will hold for a long time, and it is clear to see that you will go on scoring for your club and country for a long time to come.”

Rooney's landmark — 12 years after his first England goal against Macedonia — drew widespread praise from across English football.

“Congratulations Wayne Rooney on succeeding where all others have failed by becoming England's highest ever scorer,” tweeted Gary Lineker, who fell just short of the record himself with 48 England goals.

“When you look at how long the record has stood then he should be a very proud person,” former England striker Alan Shearer told BBC Sport.

“It's a fantastic achievement to have stayed at the top for so many years,”

Rooney had equalled Charlton's record, and moved a goal ahead of Lineker, by opening the scoring from the penalty spot in England's 6-0 win in San Marino on Saturday, which secured their place at Euro 2016.

The former Everton striker is also closing in on Charlton's United scoring record and requires 17 goals to surpass the former midfielder's tally of 249.

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FOOTBALL

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said. 

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