50 Players to watch at the World Cup - No 1 Wayne Rooney
Published : 11 Jun 2010 10:59:45
We conclude our countdown of the 50 players to watch at the World Cup with our number one pick, England talisman Wayne Rooney.
Name: Wayne Mark Rooney
Club: Manchester United
International caps: 60
International goals: 25
Born in Croxteth, Liverpool in 1985, Wayne Rooney began playing football at a very early age, excelling for Liverpool schoolboys before signing to Everton's youth academy at the age of ten.
After six years in youth setup of his boyhood club, Wayne made the step up to the senior side in 2002, scoring a memorable winning goal against Arsenal at Goodison Park on October 19.
He went on to play a major part in the 2003-04 campaign, his performances leading to an England call-up and a first cap against Australia in February 2003.
He quickly established himself as first-choice for his country, going on to play a major part in England's run to the quarter-finals of Euro 2004.
On his return from Portugal he was the subject of bids from both Newcastle United and Manchester United, ultimately moving to Sir Alex Ferguson's side for a fee believed to be in excess of £25 million.
In his six years at Old Trafford, Wayne has netted 91 times in 189 games - with 34 of those coming in his outstanding 2009-10 season.
While at United he has lifted the Premier League title (3), League Cup (2), Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup. He also captured the PFA Players' Player of the Year award last season.
For his country he has scored an impressive 25 goals in 60 games, although he failed to find the net at the 2006 World Cup after struggling with injury before being sent-off in the quarter-final defeat to Portugal.
After his brilliant Premier League season, England fans will be hoping that Wazza can transfer his goal-scoring form to South Africa.