Though Rooney's time in the nation's capital ended trophy-less with two straight exits out of the first round of the MLS Cup, he still produced some magical moments. After leaving his hometown club, Everton, for new pastures across the pond, Rooney earned the trust of his teammates and former D.C. United coach Ben Olsen to wear the captain's armband just three matches into his MLS tenure.
In his first game as D.C. United's captain, Rooney scored his first goal with a clinical finish in what was a special moment that galvanized the club's fan base. Basically by the corner flag on this goal, Rooney probably accidentally sent an intended cross too far into the box -- not that he or any soccer player would ever admit that.
You've probably seen this clip a thousand times before, but it's worth watching a million more to fondly remember the best moment Rooney ever produced in a D.C. United shirt. Again against Orlando, Rooney tracked down an Orlando player who would've been through on goal had he not hustled back, made a well-timed slide tackle to gain possession and lofted a beautiful ball to the back post for former United striker Luciano Acosta to head home.
There was plenty of excitement surrounding Rooney when he burst on to the scene as a 16-year-old with Everton, and he justified the hype with a stunning strike against Arsenal at Goodson Park. Rooney brilliantly controlled a long ball outside the area, turned and then curled a shot past England goalkeeper David Seaman that went in off the underside of the bar.
Rooney immediately started to justify the £26million United paid Everton for him in 2004 with a hat-trick on debut against Fenerbahçe but a ferocious volley against Newcastle was the highlight of his first season at Old Trafford. Rooney launched himself into a thunderous strike from 25 yards as a headed clearance fell towards him and the ball rocketed into the top corner.
Michael Owen flicked on a long ball and Rooney controlled on his chest before lashing a fierce shot into the roof of the net from 18 yards. Arguably Rooney’s most famous strike, a brilliant overhead kick and one of the greatest goals seen in a Manchester derby.
Shrugging off the attention of James Tompkins, he took aim and launched a half-volley that swerved and flew over the frantically backpedaling Adrian’s head into the West Ham net. But praise from Messi and Ronaldo, with eleven Ballot d'O r wins between them, speaks volumes of just how good Rooney was.
Image: Paresis, who enjoyed two Champions League final victories over Rooney and United, said he was one of the best he ever played against. “Over the years we have faced many British teams in Europe and come up against many good players, but I have always had a big respect for Wayne Rooney, ” Messi said in an interview with Coach Magazine.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, won three Premier League titles in a row playing alongside the former Everton man and used to call him 'Pitbull' because of the tenacity and aggression he brought to the table. “For me the power of Wayne Rooney is his mentality and strength,” Ronaldo said in a 2015 interview as part of a documentary on Rooney.
I remember when he lost the ball he was so powerful, a strong guy, he shoots unbelievable.” Rooney's retirement means it won't happen in a competitive capacity, we look forward to them linking up again in a testimonial or charity fixture in the near future.
He quickly rose up in the ranks, and by the time he was 16, he was already able to make his debut for Everton’s senior side. Rooney burst into the scene, and became one of the hottest young prospects in the entire world of soccer.
He spent a total of 13 years in Manchester, winning pretty much each and every trophy imaginable. By the end of his run, he set the record as the club’s top goalscorer of all time with his 253 goals in all competitions, making him one of the greatest players to have ever dawned the Manchester United shirt.
Rooney’s run with United ended in 2017, when he decided to rejoin his boyhood club, Everton. Rooney had fallen in the pecking order in Manchester, and because he wanted to play more first-team football, he opted to take a pay cut to join Everton.
Being one of the biggest names in soccer meant that Rooney also commanded the most profitable endorsement deals throughout his career. His biggest sponsor is sportswear giant Nike, from which he reportedly earns $1.3 million per year.
In 2010, Rooney was involved in an alleged infidelity scandal, which had an adverse effect on his endorsement deals. Rooney has also set up his own charitable institution, the Wayne Rooney Foundation, which reportedly aimed to raise over $6 million for various causes back in 2017.
But it appears the legendary former England and Manchester United striker is unlikely to take charge of Derby County’s FA Cup tie against the Magpies. The ex-Everton ace is currently the caretaker boss of the Rams, who are scheduled to head to Lancashire to face Charley on Saturday in the third round of the competition– a match which will be broadcast live on BTS port, kick-off 12.15pm.
But reports from the Midlands are emerging that it is Rooney and the entire Derby first-team squad who are affected by the outbreak. The match is set to go ahead, but it appears Derby will field a team made up of players from their Under-23s and Under 18s squad, with coaches Pat Lyons and Gary Bowler and academy director Darren Wassail in line to take charge.
“Even though it will probably put us at a disadvantage if Rooney is in and around the squad or here, it will give the occasion a little more merit and something that it deserves.