Rooney now has the chance to surpass that mark when England welcome Switzerland to Wembley on Tuesday and the forward, who turns 30 next month, believes he can continue to make an impact on the international stage for years to come.
"I feel I've still got quite a lot of games left to play for England," Rooney said.
"If I was sat here saying 'I just want to get 50 goals', then I'd be lying. I'd be disappointed if I ended my England career on 50 goals. I want to kick on and try to score as many goals as I can.
"I've still got plenty of games to do that. Hopefully by the time I finish playing it will be more goals than 50. As long as the manager wants me, then I will be available to play.
"Realistically 2018 is a target for me, to go and play that World Cup, and then we will see what happens in terms of the manager or myself.
"I'll listen to my body but, if I still feel 100 per cent fit for England and I can do my job, then we will see what happens after that.
"If I feel I can carry on, I'll try. But I won't be one to say I'm not available for selection. I'm sure it'll probably be the manager's choice more than mine. It's a huge honour to play for England and I imagine it'll be difficult to say I'm ready not to play."