Over the years Rooney has become the poster boy for English football. He plays like a classic English footballer with plenty of passion and grit, and he is captain and linchpin for both England and Manchester United (one of the most popular clubs in the world).
Rooney possesses many great attributes, including tenacity, strength, guile, vision, passing ability and finishing. Where he plays best is a hotly debated topic of conversation, and over the years he has excelled when leading the line, in the number 10 role, as well as in central midfield. This is a testament to his greatness, and although he has sometimes been criticised over the years he has also been a phenomenal player and one that has enjoyed tremendous success. He has played alongside some of the best players in the world at United, and he continues to be the rock in the team despite the major transformation they have undergone in recent years.
Since he arrived at Everton as a fresh faced youngster he has never been far from the public eye, and this means that an awful lot is known about the Red Devils star both off and on the pitch. There have been plenty of ups and downs on the ride, but you cannot deny that Rooney is one of the greatest players of his generation and is an important figure in English football.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the poster boy for English football, Wayne Rooney.
He met his wife at secondary school
Many professional footballers are famous for changing partners as often as Premier League teams change managers, but Rooney met his wife, Coleen, when they were in secondary school. They began dating at age 16 and they married in 2008, and they now have two sons together named Kai and Klay.
His brother is also a footballer
Talent clearly runs in the Rooney family, as Wayne’s younger brother John is also a footballer. John, 24, has played for Macclesfield, Barnsley, Bury and he now finds himself at Chester. John has also played in the MLS alongside Thierry Henry at the New York Red Bulls. Unlike Wayne, John has expressed desire to play for the Republic of Ireland.
Photograph: Phil Noble/PA
He made his Premier League debut at 16
A fresh faced Wayne Rooney played his very first Premier League game for Everton when he was just 16 years old, playing against Spurs. He proved himself coming through the academy, and it did not too long for him to make an impression for the senior team. Early in the season, Rooney scored a sensational goal from 25 yards out which ended Arsenal’s remarkable 30 game unbeaten run.
He is England’s youngest ever goalscorer
For many years now, Rooney has been the linchpin in the England side. There have been ups and downs along the way, but he now finds himself 3rd on the all-time goalscoring list with 47 to his name, 1 behind Gary Lineker and 2 behind Bobby Charlton. Rooney opened his account in match against Macedonia in 2003 at the age of 17 years and 317 days, making him England’s youngest ever goalscorer.
He is a devout Catholic
Rooney’s faith is an important part of his life, and it can be traced back to his youth where he attended Catholic school. He preys before matches in the physio room, praying for the health of himself and everyone else on the pitch. Wayne also has a few tattoos that allude to his faith, and Coleen and her family are also devout Catholics.
He has a number of tattoos
Wayne has a few tattoos over his body, but the majority of these are covered by his kit so they are not seen too often. As mentioned, he has a few that allude to his faith; these include praying hands on his back and a Celtic cross on his arm. He also has “just enough education to perform” on his arm, and this is a reference to an album by the Stereophonics (his favourite band), but it could also be a reference to Rooney not taking any GCSE’s. He also has a St. George’s flag on his shoulder with “English and proud” beneath the flag.
He almost quit football when he was 14
Rooney considered quitting football when he was just 14, which is a strange thought as you can tell how much he loves the game when you watch him play. He found himself no longer enjoying the game and was being told to do things which he did not want to do, and he was also heavily into boxing at this time. Fortunately, a discussion with former Everton club boss Colin Harvey helped him to fall back in love with the game, and from here he decided that football was what he wanted to do and he stopped boxing training.
He scored a sensational hat-trick in his Man United debut
In the summer of 2004, Rooney made a famous switch to Man United for £25.6 million when he was just 18 years old. This meant there was an immense amount of pressure on his shoulders at a very young age, but Rooney would rise up and make himself a United legend after just 1 game. On his debut in a Champions League game against Fenerbahce, Rooney scored a sensational hat-trick and set up a goal in a 6-2 thrashing. This was a sign of things to come for Rooney and United.
He has won 12 trophies in 10 years at Manchester United
Rooney has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with the Red Devils over the years, and there are not many active players that have lifted as many trophies as Rooney. In 10 years at Old Trafford, Rooney has lifted 5 Premier League titles, two League Cups, 3 Community Shields, a FIFA World Cup and a memorable Champions League trophy. A lot of this can be attributed to playing under Sir Alex Ferguson, but Rooney has also been privileged to play alongside some of the best players in the world such as Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov and Robin Van Persie.
He is 1 of just 4 players to score 200 goals for United
There are few clubs as prestigious as Manchester United, and over the years Wayne Rooney has cemented himself as one of the all-time greats to don the famous red kit. A lot of this has come down to his goalscoring antics, as he is 1 of just 4 players to find the back of the net 200 times. Jack Rowley is the 4th with 211, Rooney is then in 3rd with an impressive 230, Denis Law is just ahead on 237 and Sir Bobby Charlton leads the way with 249. Rooney has proven he can score regardless of what position he plays in, so it seems inevitable that Wayne will soon become their all-time top goalscorer.