Top Five England Goalscorers of All Time

The World Cup gave Wayne Rooney the chance to add to his England tally but how does the former Everton striker compare to the greats of days gone by when it comes to goal-getting for the Three Lions?

Here we take a look at the five players who have scored the most goals for England (spoiler alert: Emile Heskey doesn’t feature).

1. Bobby Charlton – 49 Goals / 106 Games

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Bobby Charlton scored 49 goals for England in 106 appearances in an international career that lasted for more than 12 years. He scored four hat-tricks for the Three Lions and was probably best known for his powerful ball-striking.

He scored his goals from an attacking midfield position and was selected for four World Cups, winning one, of course, in 1966. Charlton spent his entire career with Man United where he continues in an ambassadorial role.

2. Gary Lineker – 48 Goals / 80 Games

Gary Lineker
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Younger football fans will perhaps only know Gary Lineker as an annoying crisp marketer or an annoying Match of the Day presenter but those in their 30s or older will remember him as a very fine goal scorer. Lineker managed 48 in just 80 games before being controversially withdrawn in his final game when within sight of Charlton’s record.

A classic goal poacher, the Leicester lad was a good all round striker with fine movement, excellent pace and good aerial ability but it was his movement and ability to be in the right place at the right time that got him so many goals and earned him a move to Barcelona and, er, Grampus Eight.

3. Jimmy Greaves – 44 Goals / 57 Games

Jimmy Greaves
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Jimmy Greaves scored his 44 England goals in just 57 games, giving him the best goals per game record of our famous five. Greaves got six hat-tricks for England and is regarded by many as the finest English striker of all time. He scored 344 league goals for Chelsea and Spurs in just 478 games and was the top flight’s leading scorer six times.

He played for the Three Lions at the 1962 and 1966 World Cup and was unlucky not to feature in the latter stages of England’s triumph after losing his place through injury. Greaves was incredibly quick, a fine dribbler of the ball and a composed finisher.

4. Michael Owen – 40 Goals / 89 Games

Michael Owen
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Michael Owen burst onto the scene at a young age and scored a fabulous solo goal at the 1998 World Cup against Argentina when his searing pace and total fearlessness tore through the Argentine defence.

Owen managed 40 goals in 89 England appearances and whilst injuries blighted the latter stages of his career he was a first rate player whose pace, movement and finishing made him one of the best players in the world in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

5. Wayne Rooney – 40 Goals / 94 Games

Wayne Rooney
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Rooney is on 40 goals and counting, having played 94 times for his country (at time of writing). He scored his first England goal at the age of just 17 and took Euro 2004 by storm, scoring four fine goals before being injured in the quarter final defeat to Portugal.

He will, of course, have been looking to add to his total at the World Cup but past tournaments have not been happy for him and in Brazil 2014 he managed just one goal (against Uruguay) before an early-exit by England .

He is arguably one of the most intelligent (football-wise, rather than IQ) and naturally gifted player on the list, Rooney will hope to surpass Charlton’s record and has a great chance of doing so if he stays free of injury in the years to come.

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