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07th Jan 2017

The one Manchester United game that casts doubt over Wayne Rooney’s goal record

Now wait one minute...

Tom Victor

As you almost certainly know, Wayne Rooney has drawn level with Bobby Charlton at the top of Manchester United’s all-time goalscoring charts.

Or has he?

Rooney moved onto 249 goals with an early strike against Reading in the FA Cup, equalling the number that Charlton racked up for the club. Or so everyone thought.

But now it has emerged that the 1966 World Cup winner might actually have ended up on 251.

The confusion concerns an Anglo-Italian Cup match against Verona, in which Charlton scored twice in a 4-1 win.

However, as the Independent notes, United consider Charlton’s league appearance at Chelsea a few days earlier to be his last appearance for the club in ‘a first-class game competition’.

‘Sir Bobby subsequently played in the Anglo-Italian Cup, away to Verona on 2 May, and scored twice in United’s 4-1 win. However, this game is not counted as one of his 758 competitive appearances,’ United’s official site explains.

The so-called ‘missing goals’ are not recognised by United’s club historian, though, meaning Charlton ‘officially’ ended up on 249. But we’re sure to see it debated far and wide.

After all, Rooney’s goal tally includes three strikes in the 2008 Club World Cup – against Gamba Osaka and LDU Quito – so why shouldn’t Charlton’s Anglo-Italian Cup efforts be counted?