Author: Suren Prasad
Born in Liverpool on October 24, 1985, Wayne Rooney joined Everton’s youth team at nine and played for their Under-19 side at 15. Making his professional debut for Everton at 16, Rooney helped the side reach the 2002 FA Youth Cup final. After joining the senior team, Rooney was awarded BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2002 and in 2003 got his first professional deal signed, making him one of the richest teenagers in the sport.
Debuting for England at 17 years and 111 days old in 2003, Rooney became England’s youngest scorer at the Euro 2004 qualifiers in September 2003.
In August 2004, he was transferred to Manchester United in a £25.6 million deal — the highest sum for an under-20. Debuting for ManU, Rooney became the youngest footballer to score a hat-trick in the Champions League at only 18 years old. For the 2004-05 League season, he was awarded PFA Young Player of the Year.
Rooney won the first trophies of his career — the 2006 League Cup and the 2006-07 Premier League title. In 2007-08, Rooney helped ManU clinch Premier League and UEFA Champions League trophies and also became the youngest footballer to play in 200 Premier League games (October 2008).
The ManU striker was chosen Premier League Player of the Season in 2009-10 and won the League Cup that year.
Rooney scored his 100th Premier League goal in April 2011 and spearheaded ManU’s Premier League title win in May. Late August saw Rooney shoot a hat-trick against Arsenal and in September he scored thrice against Bolton Wanderers to become the fourth footballer with successive hat-tricks (a total of seven for ManU).
He scored his 200th ManU goal in UEFA Champions League 2013, joining Jack Rowley, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. With 233 goals, Rooney is now ManU’s third top goalscorer.
A contract extension amounting to £73 million signed in February 2014 sees Rooney with ManU until 2019, with a weekly wage of £260,000. In the 2014-15 season, newly promoted captain Rooney occupied Premier League’s third top-scoring spot with 176 goals.
Rooney’s trophies at Manchester United include five Premier League titles (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2012-13), one UEFA Champions League title (2008), one FIFA Club World Cup (2008, where he won the Golden Ball) and finalist at the 2009 and 2011 UEFA Champions Leagues.
After average to dismal results at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and a quarter-final exit in Euro 2012, Rooney replaced Gerrard as captain of England after FIFA World Cup 2014.
In September 2015, Rooney broke Charlton’s record when he scored his 50th goal in his 107th match in a Euro 2016 qualifier. He has thrice been awarded the title of England Player of the Year (2008, 2009 and 2014).
Enjoying sponsorship deals with Nokia, Nike, Coca-Cola, Asda, Ford and on the covers of EA Sports video game series FIFA (2006 to 2012), Rooney was earning an estimated annual income of £21 million making him the world’s fifth highest paid footballer in 2012.
In the biggest sports book deal with HarperCollins in March 2006, Rooney got an advance of £5 million besides royalties to contribute at least five books over 12 years. The books published so far are the ghostwritten autobiography My Story So Far (2006), The Official Wayne Rooney Annual and My Decade in the Premier League (September 2012).