Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is a credit to football and should be appreciated better before he retires, team-mate Phil Jones has said.
Rooney equalled Bobby Charlton’s club record of 249 goals when he turned in Juan Mata’s cross in the first half of Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup win over Reading.
England’s record goalscorer could become United’s leading marksman when Jose Mourinho’s side host Hull City in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
And while Jones believes the 31-year-old fully deserves his place in the history of the game, he feels he should be given more recognition before he opts to bring his playing career to an end.
“It is a tremendous achievement. We were all rooting for him to break that record and he has equalled it now so hopefully he can go one better now and I’m sure he will,” he said, as quoted by United’s official website.
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) January 8, 2017
“He has been a fantastic servant, not just for Manchester United and England but football in general. He is a player who people idolise and look up to, so all credit to him.
“He’s a special player. Everyone knows that. At the moment he gets his share of criticism but he’s a phenomenal player and has been for many years. We should embrace him while he’s here because he won’t be around forever.
“We’ve got to appreciate him while he’s here now. He’s a fantastic player for what he’s done for club and country, and for football in general. Everyone looks up to him. He’s a world-class player and he will go down in history.”