Rooney could soon join elite club
Wayne Rooney hardly invites criticism: his performances on the pitch have been breathtaking. So what was the deal with those boots on Sunday?sports Updated: Feb 06, 2010 22:43 IST
Wayne Rooney hardly invites criticism: his performances on the pitch have been breathtaking. So what was the deal with those boots on Sunday?
A shocking combination of lime green and orange, with a black “swoosh”, “swerve fins” and odd side-on lacing, Rooney’s Nike Total90 Laser III’s hardly complemented his black and blue away kit.
It was a sight to set the purists (well, former United defender Paul Parker) sighing. “Nothing looks better than a black-and-white boot,” he observed. Nike would love to take some credit for a season which has already brought him 22 goals. With 14 league games left and the potential for a further eight matches, Rooney looks set to break the 30-goal barrier. His recent goal surge has not just made him the favourite to finish as the BPL’s leading scorer, but he could also be in line for the coveted European Golden Shoe award.
Who are his rivals? In Scotland, the SPL’s all-time leading scorer, Kris Boyd of Rangers, is on 19. In Spain, Leo Messi has 15, one ahead of David Villa. At this point, one has to remember that the Golden Shoe is judged on a weighted system whereby the five “top” European leagues are deemed to be “tougher” than the others and goals scored in those leagues more worthy.
A goal scored in the BPL is worth two coefficient points and one in Croatia, for instance, 1.5 points.
That’s bad news for Boyd as the SPL has a lower coefficient than England, Spain and Italy.
In terms of all-time goal-scoring feats, Rooney has some way to go. German legend Gerd Muller twice won the Golden Boot (as it was then) without coming near the top score. Eusebio notched 42 in 1967-8, Yugoslav Josip Skoblar managed 44 in French football in 1970-71 and Argentine Hector Yazalde racked up 46 in Portugal in 1973-74.
The best recent efforts: Luca Toni’s 31 goals (62 points) for Fiorentina in 2005-06, Cristiano Ronaldo’s 31 (also for 62 points) in 2007-08 and last season’s outstanding effort by Diego Forlan who scored 32 goals (64 points) for Atletico Madrid.
Rooney could find himself in famous company by the end of the season. And if the shoe fits…
Catch John Dykes on ESPN’s Football Focus every Tuesday and friday.