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The record Hodgson has backed United's Rooney to break

Manchester United striker is closing in on a number of international mile-stones.

Powerful forward Wayne Rooney can surpass the total cap hauls of accomplished internationals Ashley Cole, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore and David Beckham, according to current England manager Roy Hodgson, who even tipped the 27-year-old to break Peter Shilton's record as the country's most capped player should he enjoy career longevity much like his squad-mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

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'He's a wonderful player - 84 caps already,' said Hodgson to The Mirror ahead of the country's must-win World Cup group qualifier against Montenegro. 'If he was to have as long a career as Steven [Gerrard] or Frank [Lampard], he could go through the roof when it comes to caps.'

Rooney is in a rich vein of international form having returned eight goals in his last 11 appearances in 2012 and 2013. Seven of those goals have come in different games and he has even scored against Brazil at Wembley Stadium and again when the two sides met at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro in June.

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It is his club form, though, that has impressed Hodgson.

Last season, Rooney returned 12 goals, ten assists and 49 chances in 2,019 minutes of Premier League football. This season, with 478 minutes of pitch-time under his belt, he has scored thrice, assisted twice and created nine chances: 'His performances for Manchester United in recent weeks have been first-class, playing well with and without the ball.'

If England collect maximum points against Montenegro and Poland on Tuesday, then they will guarantee themselves a place in the 2014 World Cup, in Brazil. Hodgson hopes that Rooney will be one of the most influential players in both matches.

'I would want to concur that he's a very important player who will be taking a lot of responsibility tomorrow, like Steven. You depend upon your senior players, those who have been there and born that responsibility. You rely on them - we'll be relying on Wayne tomorrow.'

 Name Caps Goals
 1): Peter Shilton 125 0
 2): David Beckham 115 17
 3): Bobby Moore 108 2
 4): Bobby Charlton 106 49
 5): Ashley Cole 105 0
 13): Wayne Rooney 84 36

image: © daly3d

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