🎥 Wayne Rooney's 10 greatest moments as legend retires 💥

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Alex Mott

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Wayne Rooney’s 19-year career as a professional footballer is officially over.

It was confirmed on Friday that the 35-year-old will retire to become Derby’s new manager, calling time on one of the great stories in English football.

In honour of the great man, we thought it only right to look back on some of his most memorable moments from down the years.

Remember the name

Who could forget Wayne Rooney’s introduction to the Premier League?

Reigning champions Arsenal came to Goodison Park with the likes of Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell and Patrick Viera all in the side.

Instead, it was a 16-year-old from Toxteth who stole the show.

*That* debut

Rooney was the most-coveted teenager in world football when he signed for Manchester United in 2004.

A record-breaking £35m transfer fee pushed many to wonder whether there was too much pressure being put in this astonishing 18-year-old.

A debut against Fenerbahce in the Champions League put all that to rest.

England’s saviour

A perfect encapsulation of Rooney’s international career is the fact that his best tournament for England came in 2004.

Despite still being just a teenager, he led the line for Sven Goran Eriksson’s side alongside Michael Own and totally lit up the European Championships.

The peak came in their final group game against Croatia, where Rooney scored twice in a 4-2 win and looked genuinely unstoppable.

Newcastle’s nemesis

Rooney would end his career having scored 22 goals against Newcastle – more than against any other side.

But undoubtedly the best came in 2005 when he netted this jaw-dropping volley past Shay Given.

Sir Alex’s best

The Treble-winning team get most of the plaudits, but for this writer Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest Manchester United side was the 2006 to 2009 vintage.

There was genuine quality all over the pitch but it was the sight of Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo in full flight that captured the imagination most.

A bicycle beyond belief

Fond of the spectacular, Rooney’s most awe-inspiring strike came in the Manchester derby in 2011.

A deflected Nani cross found it’s way into the City box where the balding forward produced an acrobatic leap and bicycle finish past an onlooking Joe Hart.

One of the Premier League’s greatest ever goals.


Rooney became United’s all-time leading goalscorer in 2017 when he netted an equaliser away at Stoke.

By this point the Red Devils weren’t quite the force they used to be under Sir Alex Ferguson, but Rooney was still as influential as ever despite being the wrong side of 30.

Half century

Not content with breaking Manchester United’s all-time scoring record, Rooney also topped England’s striking charts.

It was this penalty against Switzerland that did it, and three years later the then DC United man would go on to break David Beckham’s record of being the Three Lions most-capped outfield player.

Everton return

Rooney’s return to boyhood club Everton wasn’t quite the fairytale that was promised.

However it did produce one of his finest individual moments – this sublime goal from the halfway line against West Ham.

American twilight

Rooney spent two years in Major League Soccer with DC United, becoming an All-Star in 2019 and generally taking to life in America like a duck to water.

His undoubted personal highlight though, came against Orlando City with a frankly ridiculous track-back tackle and assist for a last minute winner.

It really did sum him up.