Wayne Rooney has admitted that he has underperformed at major international tournaments but outlined his burning desire to put "the icing" on his career by helping England to triumph at next summer's World Cup.
Having burst on to the international scene so brilliantly and memorably at Euro 2004, Rooney's appearances at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup, as well as Euro 2012 last year, have been undermined by injury and suspension.
But his performances in helping to seal qualification for next year's World Cup were described yesterday as "immense" by manager Roy Hodgson and the Manchester United forward now wants to seize the opportunity to shine on football's biggest stage.
"I think it's my 10th or 11th year playing for England so the obvious goal is to try to be successful and win trophies so that would obviously be the icing on the cake," Rooney said.
Asked how determined he was to show the world just how good he is, Rooney added: "Very. That is what I have wanted to do in all the other tournaments and it hasn't happened.
But I have always been determined, I want to do well and I want to try to help England be successful. I won't put any added pressure on myself but obviously I want to try to perform and that is what we all have to believe that we can do."
Sven-Goran Eriksson famously described Rooney as "the golden boy" of English football when he left his job as England manager in 2006 and warned that he should be treated carefully both by the fans and the media.
Rooney will be 28 by the time of the World Cup and, although he remains England's star player, he admits that the emergence of so many younger team-mates means he feels less of a burden for carrying the country's hopes.
"The younger players have taken that off me now," Rooney said. "We have got so many exciting players, you look at Welbeck, Sturridge, Townsend, Barkley, Wilshere coming in. There is a mix of talent so it's important we can use all of them and the qualities they have got to try to be successful."
It will be Rooney's fifth major international tournament with England and he believes that it will be a very different sort of squad next summer.
"It's a great time," Rooney said. "I think there's a lot of young players who have come into these two really high-pressure games and they've performed. It's great for the country.
They have come in have given us a real excitement." As one of the senior players, Rooney is impressing on his team-mates not to become carried away by qualification and to also not go public with their targets for next summer.
"I think I've always been quite vocal in the dressing room," Rooney said. "When we've got to see it out, it's vital that we have the players who've been there and done it who can help them. We're not getting carried away. We'll speak about our own targets behind closed doors.
A World Cup is all the motivation you need." The World Cup could conceivably even present Rooney with the chance to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time record of 49 England goals.
Rooney's header against Poland on Tuesday was the 38th goal of his international career but, should his team reach the World Cup final, he could play another 13 England games before next July. He has scored nine goals in 10 internationals over the past year.
"It has been a good qualifying campaign for myself, but the aim was to qualify, which is what is more important," Rooney said.
"I have been scoring goals as well, so hopefully that will continue." Hodgson thought it fitting that Rooney and Steven Gerrard, his captain, had ended the qualifying campaign with the goals that ultimately sealed England's place in Brazil.
"I think Wayne has done very well throughout, although his performances recently have been crowning glories," Hodgson said.
"It's not just been a good performance and a good team performance but also a decisive performance because of his goals. I think he is very settled at the moment. He has always been a big fan of playing for England.
"Of course your concern is that we are not picking a team to play in Brazil now, it will be in May. A lot of water passes under the bridge and a lot of things can happen.
I was delighted that the two goalscorers were Rooney and Gerrard because they have been immense.
"They are two guys who really have had to bear maybe a lot more responsibility than some of the other guys and they have really stepped up to the plate and delivered."