Wayne Rooney has officially ended his 19-year career as a professional footballer and is now the manager of the Second-Tier English Football Club, Derby County. The 35-year-old had become the interim manager of the club in November after Philip Cocu was sacked.
After he took over the club, his team delivered some brilliant performances. Derby lost only 1 in 7 matches they played in December. And soon enough, he was rewarded with his first managerial job.
The club’s Chief Executive was equally happy to announce Rooney as their manager.
“We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Wayne Rooney as our new manager. Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances, notably the 2-0 home win over Swansea City and the 4-0 victory at Birmingham City.
During that nine-game run we also dramatically improved their defensive record and registered five clean sheets in the process, while in the attacking third we became more effective and ruthless too.
Those foundations have provided a platform for the club to build on in the second half of the season under Wayne’s guidance.”– Derby County’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Pearce
A STROLL DOWN THE LEGEND’S JOURNEY:
The footballing world was filled with mixed emotions when the news broke out. His teammates and friends wished him luck as he started his new chapter.
START OF HIS JOURNEY:
He was the 2nd youngest player to debut for Everton. But he became the youngest Toffee to score for the club when he scored twice in the League Cup. He played at the Merseyside club for 2 years, scoring 17 goals overall.
THE START OF SOMETHING LEGENGARY:
He joined Manchester United for a then-record fee for a player below the age of 20, of £25.6 million. The funny story is, a kid had held up a banner requesting Sir Alex Ferguson to buy Wayne Rooney when Everton played Manchester United the previous year. That may not be the reason for his arrival, but that kid did a great job.
Many people had questioned the manager’s choice of spending so much money on a kid. But he silenced everyone when he scored a hat-trick on his debut against Fenerbahce, in the Champions League. He was the club’s top scorer in his first year and was also awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year.
He ended his career at Old Trafford in 2017 after achieving everything. Rooney became the club’s all-time goal scorer with 253 goals, breaking the previously held record of 249 by Bobby Charlton. He has won 16 major trophies with Manchester United along with heaps of individual trophies.
BACK TO WHERE IT ALL STARTED:
There was a little bit of dissent among the Everton fans when Rooney joined United after the player had quoted “once a blue, always a blue”. He was booed by his fans when United faced Everton. Thankfully it was 10 years before his return, so they must have forgotten. He joined the Toffees on a free transfer. In his second spell, he made 40 appearances there, scoring 11.
THE AMERICAN DREAM:
Wayne Rooney’s second stay at Everton was a short one. He later moved to MLS (Major League Soccer) side, DC United on a 3-and-a-half-year deal. He had a pretty decent stay there and scored some of his famous half-line goals. At the end of his US career, he had scored 25 goals in a total of 52 appearances.
Wazza had cut short his stay at the US despite having 2 more years in his contract. He had mentioned that while playing there he used to get a lot of managerial calls. He returned to his hometown and joined Derby County in 2019 as a player-manager.
After playing for the 1-and-a-half season, and scoring 7 goals, Rooney took the brave decision of hanging up his boots and finally ending his career as a footballer. He is now the club’s permanent manager.
A lot of expectations will be there as he starts his new journey. If he does a good job, he might even land a deal with one of his old clubs. With Frank Lampard already managing Chelsea, and Steven Gerrard tipped to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, we won’t be missing the good old days if Rooney comes to United.