Wayne Rooney

Wayne Mark Rooney (/; born 24 October 1985) is an English professional footballer who plays for and captains both Manchester United and the England national team. He has played much of his career as a forward, but he has also been used in various midfield roles.

Aged nine, Rooney joined the youth team of Everton, for whom he made his professional debut in 2002 at the age of 16. He spent two seasons at the Merseyside club, before moving to Manchester United for £25.6 million in the 2004 summer transfer window. Since then, with Rooney in the team, United have won the Premier League five times, the UEFA Champions League once, the FIFA Club World Cup once, the FA Community Shield three times and the Football League Cup twice. In September 2013, Rooney scored his 200th goal for Manchester United. He is currently on 244 goals, making him the club's second top goalscorer of all time. His 192 Premier League goals make him the competition's second top scorer of all time, and he holds the record for most goals for one club in the Premier League, with 177 for Manchester United.

Rooney made his senior international debut in February 2003 aged 17, becoming the youngest player to represent England (a record since broken by Theo Walcott) and he is England's youngest ever goalscorer. He played at UEFA Euro 2004 and scored four goals, briefly becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of the European Championship. Rooney has since featured at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups and is widely regarded as his country's best player. He has won the England Player of the Year award four times, in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2015. With 51 goals in 109 international caps, Rooney is England's all-time record goalscorer and fourth most-capped player. Along with David Beckham, Rooney is the most red carded player for England, having been sent off twice.

In 2009-10, Rooney was awarded the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year. He has won the Premier League Player of the Month award five times, a record only bettered by Steven Gerrard. He came fifth in the vote for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or and was named in the FIFPro World 11 for 2011. Rooney has won the 'Goal of the Season' award by the BBC's Match of the Day poll on three occasions, with his bicycle kick against rivals Manchester City winning the 'Premier League Goal of the 20 Seasons' award.

Early life and education

Rooney was born in Croxteth, Liverpool to Jeanette Marie (née Morrey) and Thomas Wayne Rooney. He is of Irish descent and was brought up as a Roman Catholic with younger brothers Graham and John; all three attended Our Lady and St Swithin's primary school and De La Salle School. He grew up supporting Everton.

Club career


Youth squads

Rooney began playing for Liverpool Schoolboys and scored 72 goals in one season, a record which stood until May 2010. At age nine, Rooney played for Copplehouse boys' club in the local Walton and Kirkdale junior league and scored 99 goals in his final season before being spotted by Everton scout Bob Pendleton. Rooney joined Everton at age nine, and was the Everton mascot for the Merseyside derby against Liverpool as an 11-year-old. In the 1995-96 season, he scored 114 goals in 29 games for Everton's under-10s and 11s, and by the age of 15, he was playing for the under-19s. He scored eight goals in eight games during Everton's run to the FA Youth Cup final in 2002. This included one goal in the final defeat against Aston Villa and, upon scoring, he revealed a T-shirt that read, "Once a Blue, always a Blue." Rooney was included in Everton's first team squad for their training camp in Austria in the summer of 2002 and scored his first senior goal in a 3-1 friendly victory over SC Weiz on 15 July.

First team breakthrough

Rooney was an unused substitute in Everton's 1-0 away win over Southampton on 20 April 2002. He made his senior debut on 17 August in a 2-2 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur, starting the match and assisting the first goal by Mark Pembridge. He became the second youngest first-team player in Everton history behind Joe Royle. In that match he was booed by the Spurs fans who shouted "Who are ya?" whenever he touched the ball. His first senior goals came on 2 October when he scored twice in a 3-0 away win over Wrexham in the second round of the League Cup. These goals meant that Rooney was Everton's youngest-ever goalscorer at the time.

On 19 October, five days before his 17th birthday, Rooney scored a last-minute winning goal against Arsenal. The goal ended Arsenal's 30-match unbeaten run, and also made Rooney the youngest goalscorer in Premier League history, a record that has since been surpassed twice, by James Milner and James Vaughan. He scored the only goal in a 1-0 away win over Leeds United 15 days later.

In December, Rooney was named 2002's BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. Six days after claiming the award he scored the winning goal against Blackburn Rovers in a 2-1 home win. His first career red card came on Boxing Day in a 1-1 away draw against Birmingham City for a late challenge on Steve Vickers. In January 2003, Rooney signed his first professional contract, which made him one of world football's highest-paid teenagers. Rooney's first goal of 2003 came on 23 March, netting Everton's only goal in a 2-1 loss at Arsenal. In April, he scored a goal in Everton's 2-1 home win over Newcastle United, before hitting a last-minute winner against Aston Villa in another 2-1 home win. He ended his debut season with 8 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees.

Rooney scored his first goal of the 2003-04 season in a 2-2 away draw against Charlton Athletic on 26 August 2003. He did not find the net again until December when he scored in a 2-1 away win over Portsmouth, and a 3-2 home win over Leicester City. His final goal of 2003 came on his 50th league appearance, netting the only goal in a 1-0 home win over Birmingham City on 28 December. On 21 February 2004, Rooney scored two goals in a Premier League game for the first time in a 3-3 away draw against Southampton. He scored the sole goal in a 1-0 win over Portsmouth on 13 March, before scoring in a 1-1 away draw against Leicester City one week later. He scored his final goal of the season in a 1-1 away draw against Leeds United on 13 April.

Manchester United

2004-05 season

Rooney made a transfer request in August 2004, despite Everton having made a new contract offer valued at £50,000 per week. Everton then rejected a bid of £20 million from Newcastle, and ultimately signed for Manchester United at the end of the month after a £25.6 million deal was reached. It was the highest fee ever paid for a player under 20 years old; Rooney was still only 18 when he left Everton.Sir Alex Ferguson, then manager of United, said that "There were plenty of eyebrows raised" when he persuaded the club's board of directors to sanction "a multi-million pound" move to try to sign Rooney from Everton.

Rooney was given the number 8 shirt upon his arrival at Old Trafford. He made his United debut on 28 September in a 6-2 home win over Fenerbahçe in the Champions League, scoring a hat-trick and laying on an assist. These goals made Rooney the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League aged 18 years 335 days. However, his first season with Manchester United ended without winning a trophy as they could only manage a third-place finish in the league, and failed to progress to the last eight of the Champions League. United had more success in the cup competitions, but were edged out of the League Cup in the semi-finals by a Chelsea side who also won the Premier League title that season, and a goalless draw with Arsenal in the FA Cup final was followed by a penalty shoot-out defeat. Rooney was United's top league scorer that season with 11 goals, and was credited with the PFA Young Player of the Year award.


In September 2005, Rooney was sent off in a goalless Champions League match against Villarreal of Spain for sarcastically clapping the referee, who had booked him for an unintentional foul on an opponent. His first trophy with United came in the 2006 League Cup, and he was also named man of the match after scoring twice in the final as United won 4-0 against Wigan Athletic. His club finished the season as Premier League runners up, with their title hopes ended in late April when they lost 3-0 away to champions Chelsea. Rooney sustained a broken metatarsal in that game after a tackle from Paulo Ferreira. Rooney scored a total of 16 goals in 26 Premier League games in the 2005-06 season.

Rooney was sent off in an Amsterdam Tournament match against Porto on 4 August 2006 after hitting Porto defender Pepe with his elbow. He was punished with a three-match ban by the FA, following their receipt of a 23-page report from referee Ruud Bossen that explained his decision. Rooney threatened to withdraw the FA's permission to use his image if they did not revoke the ban, although the FA had no power to make such a decision.

During the first half of the 2006-07 season, Rooney endured a ten-game scoreless streak before scoring a hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers. He subsequently signed a two-year contract extension the following month that tied him to United until 2012. In April 2007, he scored two goals in an 8-3 aggregate Champions League quarter-final win over Roma and two more in the same competition later in the month, in a 3-2 semi-final first leg victory over Milan. Rooney collected his first Premier League title winner's medal at the end of the 2006-07 season. He scored 14 league goals that season.


In June 2007, Rooney was given squad number 10, last worn by Ruud van Nistelrooy. Rooney reasoned that he always loved that number. He fractured his left metatarsal in United's opening-day goalless draw against Reading on 12 August, the same injury he had suffered to his right foot in 2004. After being sidelined for six weeks, he returned for United's 1-0 Champions League group stage win over Roma on 2 October, scoring the only goal of the match. Rooney was again injured on 9 November, hurting his ankle during a training session and missing an additional two weeks. His next match after injury was against Fulham on 3 December, in which he played 70 minutes. Rooney missed a total of ten games and finished the 2007-08 season with 18 goals (12 of them in the league), as United clinched the Premier League. In the Champions League's first-ever all-English final, United defeated league rivals Chelsea to win another trophy.

Rooney played in 2008 UEFA Super Cup where United lost to Zenit Saint Petersburg and was unable to make an impact. On 4 October 2008, in an away win over Blackburn Rovers, Rooney became the youngest player to make 200 Premier League appearances. On 18 December, Rooney scored twice in the 5-3 semi-final victory over Japanese club Gamba Osaka in the FIFA Club World Cup, and, after scoring the winning goal as United beat LDU Quito 1-0 in the final in Yokohama, was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament. On 14 January after scoring the only goal of the game 54 seconds into the 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic, Rooney limped off with a hamstring injury in the eighth minute. On 25 April 2009, Rooney scored his final league goals of the season against Tottenham; United scored five goals in the second half to come from 2-0 down to win 5-2; Rooney scored two goals, set up two and provided the assist that led to the penalty for United's first goal. On 27 May, Rooney played against Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League Final in Rome, with United losing 2-0. Rooney ended the season with 20 goals in all competitions. Once again, he managed 12 goals in the league.

2009-10 season

Rooney scored in the 90th minute of the season-opening 2009 Community Shield, although United lost the game to Chelsea on penalties. He then scored the only goal of the first league game of the 2009-10 season against Birmingham City, taking his overall United tally to 99. On 22 August, he became the 20th Manchester United player to score 100 goals for the club, when he found the net twice in a 5-0 away win at Wigan Athletic.

On 29 August, United played Arsenal at Old Trafford. Rooney scored a goal from the penalty spot to level the game after Andrei Arshavin had put the Gunners ahead. The game finished 2-1 to Manchester United after Abou Diaby scored an own goal. On 28 November 2009, Rooney scored his first hat-trick for three years in a 4-1 away victory against Portsmouth, with two of the goals being penalties. On 27 December 2009, he was awarded Man of the Match against Hull City. He was involved in all the goals scored in the game, hitting the opener and then giving away the ball for Hull's equalising penalty. He then forced Andy Dawson into conceding an own goal and then set up Dimitar Berbatov for United's third goal which gave them a 3-1 victory. On 30 December 2009, Rooney scored another goal as United beat Wigan 5-0 in their final game of the decade.

On 23 January 2010, Rooney scored all four goals in Manchester United's 4-0 win over Hull City; three of the goals came in the last 10 minutes of the match. This was the first time in his career that he registered four goals in a single match. On 27 January 2010, he continued his scoring run by heading the winner in the second minute of stoppage time against derby rivals Manchester City. This gave United a 4-3 aggregate win, taking them into the final; it was his first League Cup goal since netting two in the 2006 final. On 31 January 2010, Rooney scored his 100th Premier League goal in a 3-1 win over Arsenal for the first time in the league at the Emirates, notably his first Premier League goal also came against Arsenal.

On 16 February 2010, Rooney hit his first European goals of the season, scoring two headers in the 3-2 away win against Milan in Manchester United's first ever win against them at the San Siro. On 28 February 2010, he scored another header against Aston Villa (his fifth consecutive headed goal) which resulted in Manchester United winning the League Cup final 2-1. In the second leg of United's European tie against Milan, Rooney scored a brace in a resounding 4-0 home victory, taking his tally of goals that season to 30. He then added two more to his tally five days later at Old Trafford, in a 3-0 league win over Fulham.

On 30 March 2010, during United's Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat against Bayern Munich at Munich's Allianz Arena, Rooney crumpled when he twisted his ankle in the last minute, hobbling off while Bayern were producing the buildup that led to their second goal. There were fears that he had received serious ligament damage or even a broken ankle, but it was announced that the injury was only slight ligament damage, and that he would be out for 2 to 3 weeks, missing United's crunch match with Chelsea and the return leg against Munich the following week. The team list for second leg yielded a massive surprise when Rooney was given a starting place in the United line-up. Despite a 3-0 lead by the 41st minute, Munich snatched a goal back and United were later forced down to 10 men after Rafael da Silva was sent-off. Munich won the match after netting a second away-goal and Rooney was substituted after re-damaging his ankle. On 25 April, Rooney was named the 2010 PFA Players' Player of the Year.

2010-11 season

On 28 August 2010, Rooney scored his first goal of the season as he netted a penalty in a 3-0 home win over West Ham United. In October, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson stated at a press conference that Rooney wanted to quit the club. This came after a period of dispute as to the extent of Rooney's ankle injury, where Rooney had refuted Ferguson's claim that the injury was the reason Rooney had been dropped to the bench. Rooney and his representatives released a statement regarding his decision to leave the club, insisting it was not down to money but ambition. Following this statement, Rooney made a dramatic U-turn and agreed a new five-year contract at Manchester United until June 2015.

Rooney made his return to the first team as a substitute against Wigan on 20 November. Four days later he returned to the starting line-up and scored a penalty in a 1-0 away win over Rangers in the Champions League. He missed a penalty in a 1-0 home win over Arsenal on 13 December. His first goal of the season from open play came on 1 January 2011 in a 2-1 away win over West Bromwich Albion. On 1 February, Rooney scored twice and assisted Nemanja Vidić's goal in a 3-1 home win over Aston Villa. On 12 February, Rooney scored an overhead bicycle kick in the 78th minute of the Manchester derby, which proved to be the winning goal in their 2-1 win over Manchester City. After the match, Rooney said it was the best goal of his career, before Sir Alex Ferguson described the strike as the best goal he had ever witnessed at Old Trafford. Two weeks later he scored the third goal in a 4-0 away win over Wigan, before opening the scoring in a 2-1 away loss to Chelsea on 1 March. Rooney scored the second goal in a 2-0 home win over Arsenal in an FA Cup tie on 12 March.

On 2 April, United came from two goals down as Rooney scored his first hat-trick of the season in a 4-2 away win over West Ham United. This was his fifth hat-trick for Manchester United, whilst the second goal was his 100th in the Premier League for the club. He became the third Manchester United player to score 100 Premier League goals, joining Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. During Rooney's celebrations following his third goal, he swore into a pitchside camera and was subsequently charged by the Football Association for using offensive language. Rooney accepted the charge, but not the automatic two-match ban which was handed to him. He appealed against the length of the suspension, calling it "excessive", but failed to overturn the ban, which ruled him out of the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on 16 April. The following game on 6 April saw Rooney score the only goal in a 1-0 away win against Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-final first leg. He followed this goal up with another strike in the semi-final first leg against German side Schalke on 26 April, scoring the second of a 2-0 away win. This was the first time Rooney had returned to the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen since his sending off during the 2006 FIFA World Cup against Portugal.

On 14 May 2011, Rooney scored a penalty for United to equalise in a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in the penultimate game of the Premier League season - enough to secure a record 19th top division title for United, and giving Rooney his fourth Premier League title winner's medal.

2011-12 season

Rooney started the season with a goal in the first league game at The Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion. Rooney played a one-two with Ashley Young before a sharp turn and finish from outside the box which found the bottom corner of the goal. He also scored in the second game of the season, at home to Tottenham Hotspur, when he headed in a Ryan Giggs cross.

In late August, Rooney scored his 150th goal for United, the first of a hat-trick, helping to beat Arsenal 8-2. Rooney won man of the match, scoring two free kicks, a penalty, and also contributing an assist for Nani. On 10 September, Rooney scored another hat-trick in a 5-0 away win over Bolton Wanderers on 10 September, becoming only the fourth player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick in consecutive games. These goals brought him level with Sir Bobby Charlton on seven United hat-tricks, joint fourth on the all-time list behind Denis Law, Jack Rowley and Dennis Viollet.

After the fallout from his red card against Montenegro on international duty, Rooney was left out of the starting line-up against Liverpool on 15 October 2011. He returned to action on 18 October 2011, where he scored two goals in the group stage-match against Oțelul Galați and surpassed his former teammate Paul Scholes as the most-scoring Englishman in UEFA Champions League.

On 10 December, Rooney ended an 8-game goal drought with a brace against Wolves in a 4-1 win at Old Trafford. On 18 December, Rooney continued his goal scoring form heading home the opening goal against Queens Park Rangers, making it Manchester United's quickest goal of the season so far after just 52 seconds at Loftus Road. He was assisted by Antonio Valencia's cross. On 21 December, Rooney scored his 130th Premier League goal in his 300th Premier League appearance against Fulham at Craven Cottage with a long-range effort that crashed in off the inside of the post in a 5-0 win.

On 8 January, Rooney scored two goals in the FA Cup third round 3-2 away win against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium. His first goal was assisted by Antonio Valencia. With these goals, Rooney went past Mark Hughes in United's all-time top goalscorers table heading up to seventh place overall with 164 goals. On 14 January, Rooney made a big contribution to his team in a 3-0 home win against Bolton. Although he missed a penalty, he did create two goals by assisting Paul Scholes for the first goal and Danny Welbeck for the second one. On 5 February, Rooney scored twice from the penalty spot as United came back from a 3-0 deficit to draw 3-3 in a Premier League clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

On 11 February 2012, Rooney marked his 500th senior career game by scoring two goals as United beat rivals Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford. This was also his 350th game for United in all competitions. On 4 March, Rooney scored the first goal in a 3-1 away win against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and went past Joe Spence in Manchester United's all-time top goalscorers table heading up to sixth place overall with 169 goals. He scored another brace in his next game, against Atletico Bilbao in the Europa League. On 11 March, Rooney scored the two goals that brought United the victory against West Bromwich Albion in a 2-0 home win. On 15 March, Rooney scored in the 2nd leg of the Europa League tie vs Athletic Bilbao in Bilbao despite United losing 2-1 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate.

2012-13 season

Despite starting the opening game of the season against Everton, Rooney was dropped to the bench for the second game against Fulham in favour of new signing Robin van Persie. After coming on for Shinji Kagawa in the 68th minute, Rooney suffered a severe gash to his right leg caused by Fulham's Hugo Rodallega that kept him out for four weeks. He made his comeback on 29 September in a 3-2 loss against Tottenham.

Rooney scored his first goals of the season in a 4-2 league win at home to Stoke City on 20 October, where he reached his 200th club goal. On 7 November, he scored his first UEFA Champions League goal of the season, scoring a penalty in a 3-1 win against S.C. Braga. He scored twice and assisted a goal in a 4-3 win against Reading on 1 December. He scored a brace in the Manchester derby at the City of Manchester Stadium on 9 December 2012 which United won 3-2. On 16 January, he scored a goal against West Ham United in the FA Cup. A fortnight later, he scored twice in a 2-1 win against Southampton. He continued to score goals in FA Cup consecutive matches against Fulham and Chelsea. On 12 May, Sir Alex Ferguson announced, after United's 2-1 win against Swansea City, that Rooney had handed in his transfer request, a match in which Rooney also requested not to play.

2013-14 season

On 5 July 2013, new United manager David Moyes announced that Rooney was not for sale, after speculation that Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were among the clubs looking to sign him. On 17 July 2013, Chelsea confirmed that they had made a bid for Rooney the previous day, thought to be in the region of £20 million, however it had been rejected by Manchester United. He suffered a head gash in training on 31 August after a collision with Phil Jones which kept him out of the match against Liverpool. He scored his first goal of the season with a free-kick in a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace.

On 17 September, Rooney scored twice in a 4-2 win against Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League, marking his 200th goal for United in the process. On 22 September, Rooney scored a wonderful free-kick at the eleventh hour to grab a consolation goal in the 4-1 thrashing against their neighbour, Manchester City, in the Manchester derby. He scored a brace against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in a 2-2 draw on 1 December. He scored his 150th league goal for the club with a volley against Hull City on 26 December as United came back from 2-0 deficit to win the match 3-2; he also provided assists for the other two goals.

On 21 February 2014, Rooney signed a contract extension with Manchester United, which will keep him at Old Trafford until 2019. Rooney provided one assist to Robin van Persie, as Manchester United defeated Olympiakos in the second leg of UEFA Champions League. On 22 March 2014, Rooney scored two goals for United at West Ham United, moving him to third place on the club's all-time scoring list with 212 career goals.

Rooney ended the season as both the top scorer and assist for Manchester United in the league with 17 goals and 10 assists. He also had the most assists in the 2013-2014 Champions League with 8 assists, beating 2nd place Ángel Di María who had 6 assists.

2014-15 season

After the departure of Nemanja Vidić from Manchester United in July 2014, Rooney was named by new manager Louis van Gaal as his replacement as club captain ahead of the 2014-15 season. On the opening day of the season on 16 August, Rooney scored a bicycle kick to equalise against Swansea City, although United eventually lost 1-2. On 27 September 2014, Rooney became the third highest Premier League top-scorer of all time moving ahead of Thierry Henry with 176 goals after he netted a goal in a 2-1 victory against West Ham United. In the same match, he was sent off for a foul on Stewart Downing and received a three-game suspension.

On 22 November 2014, Rooney scored for United in a 2-1 win against rivals Arsenal, their first away win of the season. He continued to score in the following match, in a 3-0 win over Hull City. On 14 December, he scored the opening goal in a 3-0 win over rivals Liverpool. On 26 December, Rooney scored two goals against Newcastle United, a match which his side won 3-1 - United's 50th successive Boxing Day match. For his performances, Rooney was voted as United's Player of the Month for December. During the season Rooney was often deployed as a midfielder by van Gaal.

On 16 February 2015, in an FA Cup match against Preston, Rooney was the subject of criticism for having dived to get a penalty; United would go on to win the match 3-1. Replay seemed to have shown that Rooney hadn't come in contact with the goalkeeper. However, England manager Roy Hodgson defended Rooney, saying that he was forced to take evasive action. Rooney later apologised for his behaviour, saying: "that was my chance to get a penalty. I had to use that." The penalty was also Rooney's first goal in 2015, ending a goalless run. On 28 February 2015, he scored a brace in a 2-0 victory over Sunderland, thus becoming the first player to score more than 10 goals in 11 successive seasons. On 15 March, Rooney scored the third goal in a 3-0 win over Tottenham.

Rooney was Manchester United's top goalscorer for the 2014-15 campaign, but his tally of 14 is the lowest by a leading scorer since 1982. United's total goals of 62 were also their second worst in the Premier League era.

2015-16 season

On 26 August 2015, Rooney ended a 878-minute scoreless streak by scoring a hat-trick in a 4-0 win (7-1 aggregate) over Belgian side Club Brugge in the second leg of their Champions League play-off. It was his first treble in European competition since his United debut against Fenerbahçe in 2004. He netted in a 3-0 win away to Everton on 17 October, putting him on 187 Premier League goals, joint second with Andy Cole and behind only Alan Shearer. After an injury-related absence, Rooney returned to the starting line-up on 19 December, making his 500th Manchester United appearance in a 2-1 home loss to Norwich City.

On 2 January 2016, Rooney scored in a 2-1 win over Swansea to move ahead of Cole as the Premier League's second top scorer of all time, and with 238 he surpassed Denis Law in United's top scorers of all time, behind only Bobby Charlton's 249. Fifteen days later, he scored the only goal in a win at Liverpool, his 176th league goal for United, taking Thierry Henry's record for most goals for one club in the Premier League.

International career

Early international career and Euro 2004

Rooney was eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland, through an Irish grandmother. In 2015 he confirmed that he had rejected an approach from Ireland at the age of 16, describing himself as "English through and through".

Rooney became the youngest player to play for England when he earned his first cap in a friendly defeat against Australia at the Boleyn Ground on 12 February 2003 at 17 years and 111 days, coming on at half time as manager Sven-Göran Eriksson fielded a different team in each half. On 6 September of that year, aged 17 years and 317 days, he became the youngest player to score for England, equalising in a 2-1 away victory over Macedonia in a UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying match.

His first tournament action was at UEFA Euro 2004, in which he became the youngest scorer in competition history on 17 June 2004, when he scored twice against Switzerland; however, this record was topped by Swiss midfielder Johan Vonlanthen four days later. Rooney suffered an injury in the quarter-final match against Portugal, and England were eliminated on penalties. After scoring four goals in four matches, Rooney was named in UEFA's Team of the Tournament.

2006 and 2010 World Cups

Following a foot injury in an April 2006 Premier League match, Rooney faced a race to fitness for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. England attempted to hasten his recovery with the use of an oxygen tent, which allowed Rooney to enter a group match against Trinidad and Tobago and start the next match against Sweden. However, he never got back into game shape and went scoreless as England bowed out in the quarter-finals, again on penalty kicks.

Rooney was red-carded in the 62nd minute of the quarter-final for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho as both attempted to gain possession of the ball, an incident that occurred right in front of referee Horacio Elizondo. Rooney's Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo openly protested his actions, and was in turn shoved by Rooney. Elizondo sent Rooney off, after which Ronaldo was seen winking at the Portugal bench. Rooney denied intentionally targeting Carvalho in a statement on 3 July, adding, "I bear no ill feeling to Cristiano but I'm disappointed that he chose to get involved. I suppose I do, though, have to remember that on that particular occasion we were not teammates." Elizondo confirmed the next day that Rooney was dismissed solely for the infraction on Carvalho. Rooney was fined CHF5,000 for the incident.

Rooney top scored for England in their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with nine goals; one behind the UEFA section's overall top goalscorer, Theofanis Gekas of Greece. On 14 November 2009, Rooney captained England for the first time in a pre-tournament friendly with Brazil.

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa England drew with Algeria and the England players were booed off the pitch by supporters. England were eliminated in the second round.

Euro 2012

The UEFA Euro 2012 qualification campaign went well for England, as they qualified at the top of their group, winning five and drawing three games. Rooney scored three goals, one against Switzerland and two against Bulgaria. In the last qualifier against Montenegro (2-2), Rooney was sent off for a tackle on Miodrag Džudović in the 74th minute. It was anticipated that Rooney would miss at least one match in the opening round of the first phase at UEFA Euro 2012. After the game Rooney sent a personal letter to UEFA in which he apologised and expressed regret for the tackle on Džudović which earned him the red card.

Despite the letter, UEFA punished Rooney with a three-game ban, meaning that he could not play in any of the group stage matches. After UEFA's announcement, Džudović stated that he believed the sentence for Rooney was too severe and that he would defend him if needed. He later asked the UEFA to pardon Rooney. The Football Association then decided they would appeal to UEFA against the ban. On 8 December 2011, after The FA had appealed the ban, UEFA reduced the sentence to two matches. This meant that Rooney missed the matches against France and Sweden. He was able to play in the final match of the group stage against Ukraine on 19 June 2012, scoring the only goal of the game, allowing England to progress to the quarterfinals. England were eventually knocked out in the quarter-finals against Italy, who, after a scoreless 120 minutes, won 4-2 on penalties, although Rooney was able to net his spot-kick. After another international tournament in which the English media criticised Rooney's performances, Fabio Capello claimed Rooney "only plays well in Manchester".

2014 World Cup

On 12 October 2012, Rooney became England's 5th highest goalscorer of all time after scoring his 30th and 31st international goals in a 2014 World Cup qualifier against San Marino. Rooney captained England for the first time in a competitive match in the same game. On 6 February 2013, Rooney scored in a 2-1 win against five-time world champions Brazil at Wembley in a friendly. In March, he scored goals against San Marino and Montenegro in World Cup qualifying, before scoring against Brazil again in a 2-2 draw on 2 June, in the official re-opening of the refurbished Maracanã Stadium. On 11 October 2013, Rooney became England's all-time top goalscorer in competitive internationals when he scored his 27th competitive goal in a 4-1 World Cup qualifier against Montenegro. Rooney ended the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign as England's top scorer with seven goals.

At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Rooney started in England's first group match against Italy, setting up Sturridge's temporary equaliser, in a 2-1 loss. In England's second 2014 FIFA World Cup group match against Uruguay at the Arena Corinthians, Rooney scored his first ever goal at a FIFA World Cup finals with a 75th-minute equaliser in a 2-1 loss. England drew their final group match 0-0 against Costa Rica, and were eliminated from the World Cup, finishing last in their group; despite playing a part in both of England's goals, Rooney was criticised by English pundits for his performance in the tournament.

Euro 2016

Following Steven Gerrard's international retirement after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Roy Hodgson named Rooney as England's new captain. On 3 September 2014, in the first match of his captaincy, Rooney scored a penalty against Norway to give England a 1-0 friendly win. Later on he showed his leadership attribute by calling player-only meetings in September 2014 to reflect on the players' performance and discuss how they can do better as a team. "Obviously the manager gives us our game plan, but because we don't spend that much time together as a team we need to know and feel confident in what we're doing as a team together. In the meetings, you're having the players speak up who wouldn't normally speak up when coaches are there." Rooney said. On 15 November 2014, Rooney won his 100th England cap against Slovenia in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match, scoring a penalty to equalise in a 3-1 win. In another qualifier away to the same opponents on 14 June 2015, Rooney scored the winner with four minutes remaining for a 3-2 victory, his 48th international goal putting him joint second in England's list alongside Gary Lineker, and one behind Bobby Charlton. In his 106th England appearance, he equalled Bobby Charlton's record of 49 goals (also in 106 matches) on 5 September 2015, by scoring a penalty against San Marino. On 8 September 2015, Rooney broke Charlton's England goalscoring record, netting his 50th international goal from a penalty in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Switzerland, at Wembley, in his 107th appearance for England, also equalling Ashley Cole as his country's fifth-highest capped player; this was also his 300th professional career goal.

Style of play

Rooney is an energetic, creative forward, who combines technical skill with strength and physicality, which enables him to excel in the air, despite not being particularly tall. He is a versatile attacker, capable of playing anywhere along the front line, as a striker, supporting forward, or even as a winger. In more recent years, he has even been deployed in a deeper, more creative role, as an attacking midfielder, or even as a central or box-to-box midfielder under van Gaal, due to his vision, passing, and team-work. A prolific goalscorer, Rooney is a powerful striker of the ball and an accurate finisher, who is capable of scoring goals both inside and outside the penalty area, as well as from volleys. In addition to his offensive attributes, he has been praised for his work-rate and stamina by players, managers and the media, and is highly regarded for his dedication and willingness to press opponents when possession has been lost in order to win back the ball and start attacking plays.

Due to his precocious displays as a teenager, Wayne Rooney was given the nicknames "Wazza" (a reference to former England international Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne, who was also a gifted player troubled by off-field issues), "The Wonder Boy", and "The White Pelé". Rooney was a fast, agile player in his youth; however, several injuries throughout his career have affected his speed and mobility in recent years, which has led to some in the game accusing him of not quite living up to his full potential, on occasion. Despite his reputation as one of the top strikers of his generation, and as one of England's greatest ever players and all-time leading goalscorer, Rooney has been criticised for his behaviour and aggression on the pitch at times, which has led him to pick up unnecessary bookings.

Personal life

In addition to Everton, Rooney also supports Celtic. He is also a supporter of the Leeds Rhinos rugby league club.

Rooney, originally a boxer, still pursues the sport recreationally for stress relief. In June 2011, he visited the Harley Street Hair Clinic and had a hair transplant. He has a number of tattoos, including one of a Celtic cross on his arm.


Rooney met his wife, Coleen Rooney (née McLoughlin), while both were at secondary school. They married on 12 June 2008 after six years of dating, during which Rooney admitted to soliciting prostitutes in Liverpool in 2004. "I was young and stupid. It was at a time when I was very young and immature and before I had settled down with Coleen." He has a tattoo of the words "Just Enough Education to Perform", the title of an album by his favourite band, the Stereophonics; Coleen arranged for the group to play at their wedding reception. The wedding ran into some controversy with the Catholic Church. The couple held a religious ceremony at the Abbey of Cervara, a converted monastery near Genoa, despite being warned by the local bishop's office against the plan. The bishop's office told the Rooneys that La Cervara is deconsecrated and not suitable for a wedding. It suggested a different church, five miles away. Nevertheless, the couple ignored the advice and Father Edward Quinn, their local Catholic priest from Croxteth, presided over the ceremony.

In April 2006, Rooney was awarded £100,000 in libel damages from tabloids The Sun and News of the World, who had claimed that he had assaulted Coleen in a nightclub. Rooney donated the money to charity.

Rooney's wife gave birth to a son on 2 November 2009, Kai Wayne. The couple's second child, Klay Anthony, was born on 21 May 2013. The couples third child, Kit Joseph, was born on 24 January 2016

Rooney's younger brother, John Rooney, is also a professional footballer who plays for Chester. He has previously played with Macclesfield Town, Barnsley and Bury, and in January 2011 signed a contract to play in Major League Soccer in the United States. John was selected by the New York Red Bulls in the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

Commercial interests

Rooney has endorsement deals with Nike (he is the face of their T90 Laser IV boots), Nokia,Ford,Asda, and Coca-Cola. He appeared on six consecutive UK-version covers of Electronic Arts' FIFA from FIFA 06 (2005) to FIFA 12 (2011). In October 2010, Rooney was dropped by Coca-Cola from one of its advertising campaigns following issues surrounding his private life. In 2012, Rooney was listed as the fifth highest-paid player in the world, behind Lionel Messi (1st), David Beckham (2nd) and Cristiano Ronaldo (3rd), with an annual income of $32.6 million.

It was announced in July 2011, that jerseys with Rooney's name and number were the best-selling sports product under the auspices of the Premier League. During the 2009-10 season, Manchester United sold between 1.2 million and 1.5 million shirts and it is estimated that of that, Rooney's name was printed on several hundred thousand. The account is taken from official jerseys sales across the globe, not just in England.

On 9 March 2006, Rooney signed the largest sports book deal in publishing history with HarperCollins, who granted him a £5 million advance plus royalties for a minimum of five books to be published over a twelve-year period. The first, My Story So Far, an autobiography ghostwritten by Hunter Davies, was published after the 2006 World Cup. The second publication, The Official Wayne Rooney Annual, was aimed at the teenage market and edited by football journalist Chris Hunt. His third book, My Decade in the Premier League, was published in September 2012.

In July 2006, Rooney's lawyers went to the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to gain ownership of the Internet domain names waynerooney.com and waynerooney.co.uk, both of which Welsh actor Huw Marshall registered in 2002. Three months later, the WIPO awarded Rooney the rights to waynerooney.com.

Social media

In October 2014, Rooney became the first Premier League footballer to reach 10 million followers on social networking site Twitter. As of October 2014, Rooney is the fifth most-followed footballer (and sixth most-followed sportsperson) globally on Twitter. In terms of top UK Twitter individuals, Rooney ranked at number 9 in October 2014.

Paul Stretford controversy

In July 2002, while Rooney was with Everton, agent Paul Stretford encouraged Rooney and his parents to enter the player into an eight-year contract with Proactive Sports Management. However, Rooney was already with another representation firm at the time, while Stretford's transaction went unreported to the FA, and he was thus charged with improper conduct. Stretford alleged in his October 2004 trial that he had secretly recorded boxing promoter John Hyland and two other men threatening and attempting to blackmail him for an undisclosed percentage of Rooney's earnings.

Stretford's case collapsed due to evidence that conflicted with his insistence that he had not signed Rooney, and on 9 July 2008, he was found guilty of "making of false and/or misleading witness statements to police, and giving false and/or misleading testimony." In addition, the contract to which Stretford had signed Rooney was two years longer than the limit allowed by the FA. Stretford was fined £300,000 and given an 18-month ban as a football agent, a verdict he appealed.

Stretford left Proactive in 2008 and took Rooney with him. Proactive later sued Rooney, claiming £4.3 million in withheld commissions. In July 2010, Proactive was awarded £90,000 as restitution.

David Moyes

On 1 September 2006, Everton manager David Moyes sued Rooney for libel after the tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail published excerpts from Rooney's 2006 autobiography that accused the manager of leaking Rooney's reasons for leaving the club to the press. The case was settled out of court for £500,000 on 3 June 2008, and Rooney apologised to Moyes for "false claims" he had made in the book regarding the matter.

Allegations of infidelity

Helen Wood claims Rooney paid £1,000 for a threesome with her and Jennifer Thompson in a Manchester hotel whilst his wife was five months pregnant. It was reported his solicitors unsuccessfully tried to fight the allegations when they first surfaced in early August 2010.