Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney will not get the respect he deserves until he retires, according to team-mate Michael Carrick.
England captain Rooney, also his country’s leading scorer, surpassed Bobby Charlton’s long-standing record with his 250th United goal in Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Stoke City.
Despite Rooney’s phenomenal goalscoring exploits, the forward has been regularly criticised over his perceived decline in form for club and country over recent seasons.
Carrick believes scrutiny is par for the course when you are a footballer, but feels the attention on Rooney is particularly “extreme” and says the United skipper’s “sensational” achievements will be more widely hailed once he hangs up his boots.
“I think that is just football in general. Sometimes it can take until someone has finished their career to be fully appreciated,” Carrick told United’s official website.
“The reaction to him is so extreme in the media and around the world, one week he can go from being one of the best players in the world to the next week, if he has a not-so-good game, where people say he should not be at the club. That is what he has had to deal with for so long and that is the nature of football.
“If you look at the bigger picture and look at him as a player, and what he has achieved and what he has brought to every team he has played in every year, then it has been incredible and maybe it will not be until after he is finished that people will sit down, look back and say ‘what a player he was’.
“It is just an incredible achievement. To play at this club for so long at the level he has done and to mean so much to the team year in, year out, is the reason why he has got the record.
“A record like that is not something that is easily achieved. When you think of all the great players, the great strikers and the attacking players this club has had, and the fact the record has been there for so long, it tells you how tough it is to break.
“I think Wayne fully deserves it for what he has given to this club and to go alongside his England record too, you have to say it is pretty sensational.”
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