Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Mark Rooney (born 24 October 1985 in Liverpool) is an English footballer who currently plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team. He is seen as one of the most exciting prospects of the modern game, his transfer fee from Everton still stands as the highest ever paid for a teenager. He normally played as a second striker to Ruud van Nistelrooy for his club team before van Nistelrooy's move to Real Madrid, although during 2005-06, he showed his versatility as a player by shifting to the midfield and playing on both flanks. He wore the number 8 shirt for Manchester United from 2004 until June 2007, when his shirt number was changed to number 10. He wears the number 9 shirt for England.

Rooney was brought up in Croxteth, Liverpool, where he and his two brothers attended the local De La Salle Catholic School.

Rooney grew up supporting Everton, for whom his childhood hero Duncan Ferguson played. Rooney joined the Everton youth team, and during his time there, after scoring a wonder-goal in the FA Youth Cup, he revealed a T-shirt under his jersey that read "Once a blue, Always a blue". However, he would end up playing just two seasons in the Everton first team before demanding, and then executing, a transfer. This has left him on unfavourable terms with Everton fans, and this showed when he returned to Goodison Park and was booed severely.

Rooney has been under an intense media spotlight since first arriving on the scene in 2002, particularly coming to the public's notice on 19 October 2002 when he scored a memorable goal against title-holders Arsenal, ending their 30-match unbeaten run. Receiving the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box, Rooney brought it down with instant control and turned away from his marker before firing it into the top left-hand corner of the goal, beating England keeper David Seaman and giving Everton a late 2-1 victory at Goodison Park. This goal provoked Clive Tyldesley, the match commentator, to exclaim "Remember the name: Wayne Rooney!". Rooney was only 16 years old when he scored the goal, making him the youngest ever goalscorer in the Premiership at the time. Rooney gained a huge reputation on the world stage due to his performance at Euro 2004, as he spearheaded the English attack, scoring four goals in three [group] games.

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