Wayne Rooney Factfile
Full Name: Wayne Mark Rooney
Height: 1.78m (5 ft 10 in)
Previous Clubs: Everton (1996–2004)
Current Clubs: Manchester United ( 2004– still )
Wages: Roughly £110,000 (216,950.99 USD/684,755.95 Malaysia Ringgit) per week in 2007-2008 season
By age 14, Rooney was playing for Everton’s under-19 lineup. At 17, he catapulted into England’s highest division, and suddenly the cameras were enamored. Rumors swirled about Roon, and the pundits and talking heads touted him England’s new shining star, the St. George who would slay the dragon of English soccer disappointment.
While this was quite a set of expectations to live up to, Rooney’s no mental midget. He took these expectations and surpassed them, and was crowned the youngest player ever in the national squad, the youngest goal scorer in the Premiership and the youngest scorer in the European Cup in the process.
Clearly, Everton couldn’t lay claim to Rooney for long. In the brutally capitalistic European soccer business, the teams with the bling have the power, and the blingiest of them all, Man U, called dibs. The transfer made Rooney the second most-expensive player in England. All before he turned 20.
Wayne Rooney in his 1st success in Everton
While Rooney’s performance in his professional debut was impressive, his first goal would come under much more splendid circumstances. The afternoon of October 19, 2002, saw Everton pitted against Arsenal, a powerful team that was enjoying a 30-game unbeaten streak. Rooney was sent in to replace Tomaz Radzinski in the dying moments of the game. In the final minute, he found the underside of the crossbar off a Thomas Gravesen pass, winning the game for Everton and shattering Arsenal’s streak.
If this wasn’t glory enough, this goal made Rooney, at age 16, the youngest scorer in the history of the Premiership (his record was later broken by James Milner of Leeds United).
This was only the first record that the Liverpudlian would break. One year later, in 2003, 17-year-old Rooney became the youngest player to represent England. Seven months later, he became the youngest to score for his country, in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia.
Wayne Rooney joins Manchester United
Newcastle eventually dropped their bid and, on August 31, 2004, Rooney announced that he would join the most profitable soccer team on Earth. Man. U. acquired the services of the young star for six years, at a cost of roughly £31 million (over $61 million US/$192 million Malaysian Ringgit) including wages. This sum made him one of the most expensive players in the country. Rooney does, however, have the honour of being the most expensive teenage footballer ever, being a few weeks short of his 19th birthday when Manchester United signed him.
Rooney debuted for Old Trafford in a Champions League game against Fenerbahce on September 28, 2004, and immediately proved his worth by scoring his first professional hat trick.
At the international level, Rooney is set to succeed Paul Scholes at the head of the England attack. This makes him, by default, the most scrutinized player in the country.