Sportco Football Legends: Wayne Rooney | Player Profile | Career Overview | Stats
Sportco's legend series will focus on the emergence of Wayne Rooney into a complete world-class player.
|Clubs played for||Everton, Manchester United, |
D.C United and Derby County
|Height||5 ft 9|
Wayne Rooney: Early life, growth and breakthrough
Wayne Rooney was a born talent and a naturally gifted player with a solid pedigree. He needed a club to exhibit his performance, which he did at whichever club he represented.
Rooney began his youth career at Liverpool, netting 72 goals in his first season. His goal-scoring prowess saw him getting an offer from the Everton youth team, where he established himself and became a recognised player.
The former Man United star used to score goals for fun; this helped him get into Everton's senior team breakthrough. He assisted in a 2-2 draw against Tottenham on 17 August on his senior debut.
Wayne Rooney next faced invincible Arsenal on 19 October and ended their 30-match unbeaten run after scoring a winning goal. The goal made him the youngest goal-scorer in Premier League history.
Recognising his talent Everton offered him a new contract, making the 36-year-old highest paid-teenager in world football.
In 2003 Rooney made his 50th appearance for the Toffees; by July, Wayne Rooney was offered a 5-year contract but was linked to several Premier League clubs. He was eventually allowed to leave the club, as Everton was under financial pressure.
New Beginnings and trophies
Manchester United landed Rooney in an initial £20 million deal with an additional £7m in contingency payments. Rooney had already hit his strides at a very young age and always used to be on headlines.
He became Manchester United's foremost player in no time and inherited the no. 8 jersey at the club. On his debut for United, Rooney scored a memorable hattrick and laid an assist in a 6-2 win over Fenerbahce in the Champions League, becoming the youngest player to bag a hat-trick in UCL.
Rooney's quest for a trophy as a United player finally ended when they won the League cup in a 4-0 over Wigan Athletic in 2006, where he scored twice.
Not only did he score abundant goals, but he was also involved in fusses with referees and football organisations.
By the 2007 season, Wayne Rooney claimed number 10 jersey, which he always wanted. Rooney finished the 2007-08 season, winning the first-ever Champions League and Premier League with 18 goals.
The former England International became a significant player for the Red Devils. His goal-scoring instincts helped United in many games, as he made a habit of scoring goals in every match.
In 2009-10 he netted his 100 goals for Manchester United and became their 20th player to achieve the landmark. Rooney continued his scoring run and attained new landmarks, and in many games, he scored four or three goals as well.
Rooney was at the peak of his career, establishing himself as one of the world-class players. He ended the 2009-10 season with an astounding 30 goals and won the 2010 PFA Players' Player of the Year.
On 1 January 2011, Rooney scored one of the famous goals of his career in a Manchester Derby, which United won 2-1. His famous goal was shortlisted in many FIFA awards, and several sports channels voted it the goal of the season.
Rooney's had etched his name in United's folklore and exceeded expectations. He became a hero in fans' eyes and helped the club in different circumstances; he rewrote history and broke records, but things went haywire when Alex Ferguson left the club in 2015, and the club hit its nadir.
Rooney continued till 2017 before joining Everton for a brief spell. After leaving United, he left a mark, becoming their all-time top-scorer with 253 goals, winning five Premier League titles and each of the Champions League, Europa League, and FA Cup.
Retirement and a new era
The Former Manchester United player returned to his old club and scored in his second debut in a 1-0 win over Stoke City. Nine days later, Rooney netted his 200 Premier League goals becoming the second player after Alan Shearer to earn such a milestone.
In 2018 18 December, Rooney became the third player with the most assists (103), breaking Frank's Lampard record in the Premier League.
In 2018 he joined D.C. United of Major League Soccer club, signing three-and-a-half-year. Rooney played for two years, registering 25 goals in 52 appearances (all competitions) for D.C. United.
However, Rooney left D.C United to join Derby County as a player and Managerial role. He showed his talent with a goal and an assist on his debut. He ended the 2019 year with six goals in 24 appearances.
In the 2020-21 season, the former United player helped the club escape the relegation zone, but the club came under intense criticism as they fared poorly, which saw manager Phillip Cocu leaving the club on mutual consent and Rooney replaced him as part of a four-man interim management team. On 15 January 2021, Rooney retired from football and became Derby County, permanent manager.
Rooney's overall club career stats
Wayne Rooney was the youngest player to play for England at 17 years and 111 days. He had a mentality of succeeding, making him such an elite player at a very young age.
At just 17, he scored his first goal in a 2–1 away victory over Macedonia, making him the youngest scorer of England. Rooney played a paramount role in Euro 2004, but they were eventually eliminated in the quarter-finals by Portugal.
Compared to his club career, the 36-year-old didn't have an illustrious career with his national team. The Englishman played a total of three world cups and Euros. By doing so, he became England's second-most capped player behind Peter Shilton.
Rooney last played in England's t-shirt on 4 November 2018. He played a match which was called "Wayne Rooney Foundation International." Ending his England career with 120 appearances and 53 goals.
Wayne Rooney: Managerial career
After becoming Derby County manager, Rooney had a very challenging task on this plate, as the club was battling relegation zone. His first few games resulted in a bitter-sour result, but he swore the fans he would take them out of the relegation zone, which he ultimately did. This saw him getting the permanent role as manager on 15 January 2021.
But things started to deteriorate, as Derby County won just once in 14 games. The former Everton player faced backlash due to too many changes and altering of tactics.
"He has been inconsistent (and) unable to maintain form both during a game and from game to game." Rooney managed to avoid the relegation zone by the end of the season.
Playing Style: A creative player with great vision and strength
Rooney was a physically assertive and creative player who exploited defence with his splitting passes. While being 5'9, he was good in the air too, a versatile attacker with excellent dribbling skills who excelled at any circumstances.
Rooney's preferred position was a striker, but he also played as a winger and second striker when needed. When his age declined, Rooney started drooping deep and played as an attacking midfielder, a deep-lying playmaker, or a central midfielder.
During his prime, Rooney was a prolific goal-scorer and an accurate finisher who used both of his feet. He had the stamina of an animal, including a superb work rate. During his prime days, he was praised by managers and media for his dedication towards the game and effortless pressing.
Due to frequent injuries and weight issues, Rooney went through many ups and downs in his playing career, which hampered his playing time.
Wayne Rooney: Major Honours
- Golden Boy Award: 2004
- Manchester United Players' Player of the Year: 2009–10
- Premier League Player of the Season: 2009–10
- FIFPro Young Player of the Year: 2004–05
- FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2008