Gary Cahill: Wayne Rooney will be an England legend

Tuesday 08 Sep 2015
Gary Cahill tries to lose Wayne Rooney in training

Gary Cahill says captain Wayne Rooney will go down as an England legend as he sits on the verge of becoming the Three Lions' all-time top scorer.

After a record-equalling 49th against San Marino on Saturday, Cahill is in no doubt of the importance of the Manchester United striker's goals.

However, the Chelsea defender says Rooney has many more qualities and believes, at just 29 years old, the skipper will be pulling on the Three Lions for many years to come.

England v Switzerland

UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
7.45pm, Tuesday 8 September 2015
Live on ITV1
Buy tickets online

"Wayne brings so much experience to the team. For someone so young to have achieved so much in terms of caps, in terms of goals, is absolutely incredible," vice-captain Cahill told 

"He has so many years ahead of him for club and country – he could go on and really smash these records, not just break them. 

"I know for him it’s a matter of getting there as soon as he possibly can. Everyone here is willing him on to break the record, it would be a great celebration to win the game and for him to have broken the record. It would be something special." 

He added: "It’s tough playing against him, he’s a winner no matter if it’s in training or games. He brings quality and for me it is his intelligence – he makes good runs. 

Gary Cahill mask

The man in the mask Cahill in training

"But one of his strengths and the most awkward thing playing against him is that he can find space, these little pockets where he drops off and you don’t know whether or not to go tight to him. 

"That shows real intelligence in his play. We know what he can do, he needs no introduction and we’ve seen it over the years with his finishing and all round game. 

"He’s a top player. Sometimes you take people for granted when they’ve been around for so long, but he is still at a young age compared to what he has done in the game. 

"By the time he finishes his career, if you put down on a piece of paper all his achievements then I’m sure that will go down as legendary, not just for England but for his club, too."

Cahill answers fans' questions on FATV


Having secured their place at Euro 2016 with a comfortable 6-0 victory against San Marino, England return to Wembley on Tuesday night to face Switzerland who sit second in the table.

The 29-year-old former Aston Villa and Bolton man sat out the game in Serravalle on Saturday and will be hoping to return to the side, knowing a draw will be enough to secure top spot in the table.

But, more than that, another win will also maintain their 100 per cent run in qualification and would keep confidence in the camp sky-high as the begin to plan for next summer in France. 

"I think the Switzerland game will be totally different to San Marino," said Cahill. "We need to give them a whole lot of respect for being one of the strongest teams in our group. 

"That will be a tough game but another good test for us. But we want to keep the momentum going, we want to keep the good feeling around the camp going. And by winning games that does that." 

He continued: "For me, the game in Switzerland last year was a big turning point for us. 

Gary Cahill v Slovenia

Cahill won his 36th cap against Slovenia in June

"As a new group coming together following the disappointment of the World Cup and people on our backs a little bit, when we went away to Switzerland people were perhaps looking at us as underdogs. 

"But we went out and gave a good account of ourselves, played really well and managed to win 2-0. 

"That was a big moment for us and helped us to go on a do what we have since then.

"But Switzerland are one of the best teams in the group, so we must be respectful of that, but we want to get another win in front of our own fans at Wembley. 

"If we can get another good result, when you leave the camp at the end of the get-together there is a big buzz."

The Three Lions can clinch top spot in Group E on Tuesday night with a draw against Switzerland at Wembley.

Tickets for the game are still available, click here to buy online.

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor At the England hotel