Aged nine, Rooney joined the youth team of Everton , for whom he made his professional debut in 2002. His debut came against Tottenham in a 2-2 draw, which at the time, made him the second youngest first team player in Everton history behind Joe Royle. He then went on to score twice in a 3-0 win over Wrexham in the League Cup, making him the youngest ever goalscorer for the club. Rooney’s time at Everton will mostly be remembered for his last minute goal against Arsenal, just 5 days before his 17th birthday, and for being named 2002’s BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.
He spent two seasons at the Merseyside club, before moving to Manchester United for £25.6 million in the 2004 summer transfer window. During his time at United Rooney has won the Premier League four times, the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League and two League cups. He also holds two runners up medals from the Champions League and has twice finished second in the Premier League. Rooney has also received several individual awards during his time in Manchester. In April 2012 Rooney scored his 180th goal, making him United’s fourth highest goal-scorer of all time. In 2009-10, Rooney was awarded the PFA Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year. Rooney has also 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. Rooney is the third highest-paid footballer in the world after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with an annual income of £18m including sponsorship deals.
Despite scoring 27 league goals Rooney was helpless in preventing rival’s Manchester City win the Premier League title with a dramatic final day victory over Queens Park Rangers at the end of the 2011-12 season. United fans will be hoping Rooney along with new signings Shinji Kagawa and Robin Van Persie will be able to help the club win their 20th League title this season.
Rooney made his senior international debut in 2003 becoming the youngest player to represent England (a record later broken by Theo Walcott). He is England’s youngest ever goalscorer. He played at UEFA Euro 2004 and scored four goals, briefly becoming the competition’s youngest goalscorer. Rooney featured at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and is widely regarded as his country’s best player.
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