|Manchester United Captain|
|Desc||We all knew he was going to be special from the moment he stunned David Seaman from distance as a 16-year-old, ending Arsenal’s 30-match unbeaten run. A move to Manchester United followed, where he won five Premier League titles, eclipsed Sir Bobby Charlton to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, and formed one of the most fearsome strike forces ever seen alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. A modern great|
|Org||England National Team|
|Club as Player||DC United|
2013 11 05 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney on Paul Scholes] The best I’ve played with – no question. His touch, passing, vision, composure is outstanding. I try to copy him
2014 09 13 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney on Raheem Sterling] Before the World Cup I showed him videos of Marc Overmars, because he reminded me of him. He has the potential to be as good as Overmars. Raheem is a fantastic and quite unusual player. He can play right across the front line, out wide. Although he’s a small lad, he’s really strong. The potential he’s shown is incredible. He’ll be a massive player for us over the next ten to 15 years and, unfortunately, for Liverpool
2015 08 20 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney on Thierry Henry] From the ages of ten to 16, watching him the Premier League was amazing and he scored all different types of goals – free-kicks, volleys, left foot, right foot. He was entertaining. He’s probably the best centre-forward, I think, to play in the Premier League
2015 10 06 Retrieve
[On a BBC documentary, Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney was asked who was the best player he played with for England] I’d have to say Stevie [was the best]. For me he’s an incredible player, an incredible leader. He helped me a lot during my early days with England
2015 11 10 Retrieve
[on David Beckham] I loved playing with David Beckham – as a striker you know you can make a run and he’ll put in on your head or into space for you
2015 12 30 Retrieve
[on Sir Alex Ferguson] I’m not the only person who had differences with Sir Alex Ferguson, but I can still sit here and say he was the greatest manager of all time
2016 02 18 Retrieve
[Quotes on Paul Gascoigne] If I’m sitting here now, [. . .] explaining about Paul Gascoigne, I’d say he’s the probably most exciting English player I’ve seen, and certainly the best
2016 02 19 Retrieve
[Quotes on Paul Gascoigne] The one thing I used to love about watching Paul play was how he got the ball and ran at defenders. Nowadays you might not get away with it, but he’d always protect himself with his arm. It’s a great art to be able to do that, and to not let the defenders near you
2016 02 20 Retrieve
[Quotes on Paul Gascoigne] He was always someone I looked up to for the way he played football, and how good he was. I still think, to this day, he’s the greatest England player
2016 04 02 Retrieve
[Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney revealed his son wants an England shirt … with Jamie Vardy on the back] My lad has asked me to get him an England kit with Vardy on the back!
2016 08 05 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney shares the best players he has come up against] The best goalkeeper I’ve come up against is Iker Casillas, he’s won everything you can in the game and is one of the best goalkeepers of all-time. The best defender is probably John Terry, he reads the game well, he is physical and very tough to play against. For midfield I’d say Xavi, he’s got everything, brilliant passing, vision, creativity and leadership. The best striker has to be Lionel Messi, in my opinion he’s the best player ever and I’m honoured to have shared a pitch with him
2016 09 03 Retrieve
[England captain Wayne Rooney announces his plans to retire from international football after Russia 2018] Realistically I know myself, Russia will be my last opportunity to do anything with England, so I’m going to try to enjoy these two years and hopefully I can end my time playing for England on a high. I’ve had a fantastic international career so far, played a lot of games and I’ve enjoyed every minute, but as some point if it’s going to come to an end, whether it’s two or four years’ time, I’m not old, I’m 30 years of age and come Russia, I feel that will be the time for me to say goodbye to international football
2016 09 24 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney responds to his critics] I listen to my coaches and my team-mates, the people around me, and I don’t really listen to what a lot of people out there are saying because a lot of it is rubbish. I have to focus, work hard, of course, and I’ve done that throughout my career. I’ve worked hard and tried to do my best for the team. That’s football, I think. We don’t win in three games and, of course, everyone is going to talk about it
2017 01 28 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney reflects about what it’s like to score a goal in the Premier League] It’s an amazing feeling. It’s like you’re playing football underwater and you score the goal and it’s like you come up for air and you can hear the crowd, the atmosphere for that four or five seconds
2017 03 08 Retrieve
[Quotes on John Terry] I would have to say John Terry is the toughest defender I’ve played against. He reads the game really well, he’s physical and he’s tough to play against so you know you’re always in for a tough game when you play against him
2017 03 09 Retrieve
[Quotes on John Terry] He’s big, good in the air and he’s powerful. But he is a very intelligent footballer who reads the game so well. You come off feeling like you’ve been in a real game
2017 05 27 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney revealed that he has received several offers from other clubs] There are lots of offers on the table, both in England and abroad, and that’s what I have to decide on. I’ve got some decisions to make now over the next few weeks, so I will talk with my family and then I’ll decide. I think I have to make a decision in terms of a football decision, and that’s what I’ll do, I’ll do that the next few weeks with my family while I’m away, and as soon as I know what’s going on, I’m sure you will
2017 07 15 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney tells a secret of his, while he was playing for Manchester United] It feels great [to be back]. To be honest, I’ve kept it quiet for the last 13 years, but I’ve actually been wearing Everton pyjamas at home with my kids. I had to keep that a bit quiet!
2017 08 12 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney believes his Manchester United goalscoring record will be hard to beat] You never know, if they get someone like Lionel Messi or Ronaldo the record might get broken! But I think that in football now, players don’t really tend to stay at clubs for that long. The only way I can see it being broken is if someone stays for the same period of time that I did. It is fantastic to have left that mark behind. It is a great legacy to have left. I left United with great memories. It was a successful time for the club and it was great for me. I loved it there. I loved working with the players but it was the right time for me to move on and I feel I have certainly made the right decision in coming here
2017 08 26 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney announces his retirement from international football] It was great that Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches. I really appreciated that. However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football. It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me. Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me. But I believe now is the time to bow out. Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team. One day the dream will come true and I look forward to being there as a fan - or in any capacity
2017 12 17 Retrieve
[The ex-England captain is sure Guardiola’s men will be beaten before the end of the 2017/18 campaign] I don’t think they can go unbeaten. They have done incredibly well with the run they have been on, but the Premier League is so difficult, especially now with this Christmas period coming up. I know they have a huge squad, a great squad of players. But there are so many top teams.
I think in previous years it has been two teams and you went in knowing you would win most of the other games. But now there are five or six other teams that can all beat each other and I’m sure in one of those games Man City will get beaten
2018 02 15 Tweet
[Wayne Rooney shares news of the healthy arrival of his fourth child, Cass Mac Rooney] 5-a-side team complete! Welcome to the world Cass
2018 11 03 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney speaks about life in the USA playing for DC United] As captain, I put the music on that I want rather than their music all the time and I don’t think it is bad. It is a bit of James Bay, Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons, it is quite chilled out really. I think I would be the perfect room-mate! It is something quite different that I have not done before but that’s part of it and it’s not a big deal for me
2018 11 17 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney discussing why England’s Golden Generation failed to perform at a major tournament] We had some great established players: David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry… why didn’t it work? I’ve no idea. We tried to be successful. We maybe never had the squad, we had the startling 11 which was very good but going into the tournament we maybe never had that back-up. But I think we had a great team, we were unlucky on a couple of occasions, going out on penalties
2018 12 22 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney felt the atmosphere around Manchester United had already changed in the short time since Jose Mourinho was replaced by Solskjaer] I thought I’d give him [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] a message of congratulations, my feelings of how it’s been from speaking to some players and what I felt needs to change. First of all it was just get the lads enjoying playing football. I think that’s what the lads wanted, that’s what they were after and he’s definitely the guy to make them do that
I stay in touch with a lot of people at the club, speak to them quite a lot - certainly this week - and I think, to be a successful football club, you need everything to be right
You need the staff at the training ground to be right, the groundsman whoever that is, they need to feel happy and that rubs off, that rubs off on the players and I think that relationship between some of the staff and some of the players obviously wasn’t great
But I think also bringing Ole in, bringing [Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant manager] Mike Phelan in, that already has changed. I think the staff down at the training ground are smiling, they’re happy and that rubs off on the players
2019 06 Retrieve
[Rooney has made it clear he wishes to go into management after he retires] I’m taking the steps to get my badges completed and when I finish playing I’ll see what opportunities come up. There’s already offers which have been made, but at the minute I’m still a player and I want to enjoy playing, and then I’ll see which offers are right when I do finish
2019 09 14 Retrieve
I watch [England] with excitement and happiness when they are winning. You look at our team ten years ago and arguably we had the best group of players in world football. Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, David Beckham, myself, Michael Owen - our team then, if we had a Pep Guardiola with that group of players, we’d have won everything, no doubt about it
2019 12 13 Retrieve
[Now for Wayne Rooney and his new life as a player-coach back in England at Derby] It’s been good the last few weeks, training and getting to know the players, getting to know the staff and getting ready for the first game so I feel good physically. Obviously, a bit frustrating doing the training throughout the week and not being able to play of a weekend but it’s been nice being back home and getting prepared for January. If the game was tomorrow, I’d be able to play.
[On his first forays into coaching] The manager has been great with me in letting me get involved with that side. It is great to work with someone like Phillip Cocu
[And on wanting to become a manager one day] Yes, of course, I’ve been around this game for a long time. That’s what I want to do
2019 12 15 Retrieve
[Rooney: I’m still Premier League quality] I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that. Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them. Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40. Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League
It’s important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game. Sometimes that gets lost, because you don’t score as many goals or whatever. The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully we can get there with them
2019 12 30 Retrieve
[Man Utd legend Rooney ready to play at Derby County & has no plans to retire any time soon] I signed in the summer but I’ve been in for a few weeks now training and I’m ready to play. I’m looking forward to it. I feel my body is still ready to play, I feel good. As long as I feel I can benefit the team, then I’ll play. I feel I can add quality to the team, experience. I feel there is plenty I can offer.
[On the Championship] It’s a league that I’ve always watched and it’s a bit different to the Premier League – there are a lot more games first of all. Quality-wise it’s probably not as good as the Premier League but it’s a good league. You have to battle to get results and I have no problem with that. I think it will be similar [to MLS]. Probably better individual players. It’s a tough league and I’m ready for it
I don’t know. I’ve played many different positions throughout my career and feel ability-wise I can do that. It depends on how the manager wants to play. I’m sure I’ll play different positions again. It’s frustrating for a player to be around training and not being able to play. The only time that happens is when you’re injured. It’s been frustrating but not too long to go now
[Rooney has committed to an 18-month player-coach contract with Derby and has suggested that he could play on beyond that point] That depends on different circumstances. I have an 18-month contract. It depends on how my body is after that and how Derby feel I have done. I feel good. I’ve been lucky in my career that I haven’t had major muscle injuries that can affect you later on. I haven’t missed a training session in two years. I will play for as long as my body allows me
[Once the day comes to hang up his boots, Rooney is planning to make a move into management] Of course. When I finish playing, that is something I want to move into. I’m an ambitious person and want to give it a go. I feel I have a lot to offer the game. The opportunity came up here and the big thing for me was to be able to play and have the coaching role where I can get that experience for the transition from player to coach
2020 01 01 Retrieve
[He put on the Three Lions shirt one last time for the charity friendly fixture against the U.S. National Team on November 15 2017] I am truly humbled and hugely excited to play for England at Wembley agai. I would like to thank Gareth Southgate and The FA for inviting me back and helping to support my Foundation in the process. Playing for England was the greatest honour of my career – so winning my 120th, and final, cap will be a particularly special moment for me. It’s fitting that the match will be against the USA and I hope that both sets of fans enjoy the game
2020 01 03 Retrieve
[Rooney relishes Derby debut as he is named club captain] It was a good win. Barnsley are in good form and were unbeaten in five. I watched the game earlier on in the season and it is a different Barnsley to what that team was. It’s seven points out of the last nine and for myself personally, I was delighted to get 90 minutes.
It was a great reception from the crowd, also. I’ve been to all the games over the last month and they have always given me a good reception, so it was nice to get out on the pitch today and help the team get the win.
It was nice [to be back out on the pitch]. I’ve been training for a long time now so it’s always nice to get back out on the pitch. I felt good and the most important thing for us was the three points.
Everyone that knows me knows that I want to play in all the games. I will recover well now – it’s a quick turnaround – and I will have a good recovery session and be ready for Sunday
2020 01 03b Retrieve
[Derby star Wayne Rooney opens up on early-career gambling problem] For an away game with Manchester United you stay in a hotel - and with England you’re in a hotel for seven to 10 days. You get bored and do things to fill the time. At that time gambling was one of them. It was easy to place bets by phone. It didn’t feel like real money. It wasn’t like I had to go into a bookies and put bets where there are limits. Before you know it you’ve lost a good bit and you don’t realise the amount you’re putting on at the time. I won at the start and thought it was easy money. It sucks you in a bit more and I ended up losing, ended up down. I was chasing my bets trying to win my money back. You’re there to play for your country or club and when you’re losing money the way I was, then it will affect you. Thankfully I managed to pay up what I lost and I didn’t gamble again. I’ve learned from my mistakes. If you carry on gambling, you lose more. That’s when you can get sucked into a bad situation
[Rooney has said that he is now keen to share his experience with his younger Derby team-mates] I think it’s important that they understand the responsibility of the money they’re earning because they are earning a lot of money. There is a responsibility for us as older players who’ve been through that experience to help them and guide them on that, whether it’s gambling, whether it’s money, how to look after their money. I think it’s important that they take that information in from whoever is willing to give them to help them
2020 03 04 Retrieve
[Rooney ahead of Red Devils reunion says Derby County cheered Manchester United draw] I can’t wait. Obviously, the draw, the one team I wanted was Man United. We were on the coach, actually, going to the hotel the night before a game when the draw was taking place and there was a cheer when Manchester United came out. It is a great draw for us, having United come to our ground and for the fans it is a great game to go to. For us as a team it is a great challenge for us to come up against Manchester United, to see if we can beat them. It is a challenge, but it is something we are all looking forward to
[Rooney said of a repeat of those badge-kissing celebrations] No, it won’t be like that, of course. I think everyone will understand. I want Derby to win in this game and after the game I’ll go back to being a Manchester United fan and wanting them to win in the games after our one
2020 03 05b Retrieve
[Rooney: Manchester United need time to get back to the top] It is going to take time. It is going to take another two or three years, I believe. They need to bring some players, they need to get rid of some players. It’s not going to happen [as a quick fix]. They’ve tried that with [Louis] van Gaal, with [Jose] Mourinho. If you look at Liverpool and what they’ve done, and Man City, you’re not going to buy a team to go and challenge with them. You see with Liverpool - they’ve built that team. [Pep] Guardiola has gradually brought more players in and his way of playing. So United have to be a bit patient and try and build a team that will be able to challenge those two. The Manchester United fans need to be a bit patient with what is going on
I can’t wait. Obviously, the draw, the one team I wanted was Man United. We were on the coach, actually, going to the hotel the night before a game when the draw was taking place and there was a cheer when Manchester United came out. It is a great draw for us, having United come to our ground and for the fans it is a great game to go to. For us as a team it is a great challenge for us to come up against Manchester United, to see if we can beat them. It is a challenge, but it is something we are all looking forward to
2020 03 05b Retrieve
[Rooney: Romero could’ve let late free-kick in!] Sergio was not in a kind mood. He could have let that one in. It would have been nice it wasn’t to be
Obviously Manchester United are a good team and we wanted to try to win. I think the draw was quite favourable for ourselves or Manchester United, whoever got through, and they were the better team on the night. But I have to say for our younger players, what an experience for them, and they didn’t disappoint. They had some great moments today, and this game, although we lost, will do them the world of good
That’s the level, the difference in them handling the ball. There was always going to be that difference. We had to take our moments, which we had, but unfortunately we didn’t. We didn’t let anyone down tonight. We gave everything and, unfortunately, just came up short
[Rooney suggests he learn something from Phillip Cocu] Of course you can still learn. It’s a different league to what I’m used to, different ambitions. Obviously, at Manchester United, you’re always thriving to win trophies. At Derby, we’re thriving to try to get promotion. It is different. And my role as a coach, trying to balance them, is different. It’s something I’m really enjoying. I’m enjoying playing football first of all – I’m feeling good, I want to continue doing that – but also that transition period of going from player to coach. Phillip Cocu’s been fantastic with me and I want to keep learning and keep trying to improve myself
2020 03 10 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney says visiting teams can play into Liverpool’s hands at Anfield] They want you to go and get the ball and play out from the back. If you do that, the crowd get up and it can be one of the most horrible first 30 minutes you could have. [At United] we would train, take no chances, get the ball into the channels, turn them and feel your way into the game. If you start trying to play football at Anfield and Liverpool are up for it, then you’re in trouble
2020 03 15 Retrieve
[Coronavirus: Rooney criticises authorities for treating footballers like ‘guinea pigs’] After the emergency meeting, at last the right decision was made. Until then it almost felt like footballers in England were being treated like guinea pigs. The rest of sport - tennis, Formula One, rugby, golf, football in other countries - was closing down and we were being told to carry on.
At Derby County, we sat at training on Thursday waiting for Boris Johnson to speak. People were anxious. Thankfully football made the right call in the end. We had to put the season on hold. Some people won’t be happy but I just think, in this case, football has to come second. It’s a sport. It’s just a sport.
If people’s lives are at risk, that has to come first - regardless of whether you’re going to win the league title, whether you’re trying to get into Europe or whether you’re going to get relegated or promoted.
We’re happy to play until September if the season extends to then, if that’s how it has to be. That’s our job. As long as we know we’re safe to play and it’s a safe environment for spectators, we’ll play.
The next World Cup is in November and December 2022, so you could actually use this situation as an opportunity and say we’re going to finish the 2019-20 season later this year, then prepare for 2022 by having the next two seasons starting in winter
2020 03 15b Retrieve
[Rooney reveals taking Ronaldo to McDonalds before Man Utd match] With Cristiano, when I first got to United we used to go to games and training together. I remember the night before a game stopping off at McDonald’s because he wanted a Big Mac. He was trying to put weight on because he was so thin. I was driving the car, having to go through the drive-through to get him a Big Mac
[The Portugal international is known to now have six meals and five naps a day as he attempts to prolong his career at the highest level with Juve] With four kids I don’t know how he fits that in. You’ve got Ronaldo, who looks a million dollars, whereas I’ve never had the best body, but I can play 90 minutes, I can train every day. I have no worries physically. When I do, I’ll stop
2020 03 15c Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney has revealed which aspects of fellow Manchester United managers Sir Alex Ferguson, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho he hopes to share if he becomes a coach in his own right] Van Gaal’s preparation, Fergie’s man-management, Mourinho’s stubbornness - I think sometimes you need that. Sam Allardyce knew what he wanted. You can only manage to the capabilities of your team and that’s what Sam has always done. Once I go into it I’m sure I’ll have my own way
He was incredible. It wasn’t complicated. The big thing was he had trust in people. He trusted his coaches to put sessions on, he trusted his players. People always ask how were his team talks - a lot of his team talks were just: ‘You 11 are better than them. Go win the game
With Cristiano, when I first got to United we used to go to games and training together. I remember the night before a game stopping off at McDonald’s because he wanted a Big Mac. He was trying to put weight on because he was so thin. I was driving the car, having to go through the drive-through to get him a Big Mac
2020 03 22 Retrieve
[Rooney wouldn’t be surprised if season isn’t finished until end of 2020 due to coronavirus] The world is facing something serious and we in football should not be different from the rest of the population. Football is what everybody - especially in Britain - wakes up thinking about, but it has to take a back seat. This crisis is so much bigger than our game. The one thing missing from all the announcements last week was the FA ruling that every club should keep their players at home and not put anyone at risk, instead of leaving it to individual clubs to decide. I’d like to have seen that. But otherwise we now know where we’re going. The FA helped to clarify that the league season will finish and that is fair.
Liverpool will win the Premier League. [They] have been fantastic. They have put so much work in. They deserve this title. Can you imagine waiting 30 years and then having it taken away like this? The right decision has been made. It’s also right in terms of promotion and relegation and Champions League places. These issues are so big for the clubs involved that I imagine there would be a lot of legal fights if the season was just abandoned. The fair thing is to finish 2019-20 - even if we have to lose next season in the process. It wouldn’t surprise me if finishing the season takes until the end of 2020. Football, like every other industry, is in unknown territory and, just like every other industry, has to listen to the advice and take all necessary precautions. For me, that rules out finishing the season behind closed doors. When you play behind closed doors it still means bringing together a fairly large group of people. You need ambulances, doctors, paramedics. They’re mandatory. Police may be needed too. Why bring them all to a football match when in this crisis they will be needed elsewhere for things that are far more important? I wouldn’t be comfortable playing a game knowing there were people dying or very sick because of coronavirus and we’re taking those workers away from the front line
2020 03 23 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney believes Liverpool deserve to win the Premier League title] Liverpool will win the Premier League. [They] have been fantastic. They have put so much work in. They deserve this title. Can you imagine waiting 30 years and then having it taken away like this? The right decision has been made
It’s also right in terms of promotion and relegation and Champions League places. These issues are so big for the clubs involved that I imagine there would be a lot of legal fights if the season was just abandoned. The fair thing is to finish 2019-20 - even if we have to lose next season in the process
It wouldn’t surprise me if finishing the season takes until the end of 2020. Football, like every other industry, is in unknown territory and, just like every other industry, has to listen to the advice and take all necessary precautions. For me, that rules out finishing the season behind closed doors
2020 04 05 Retrieve
[Rooney opens up ‘worst’ feeling after World Cup red card] There was a clear foul, the former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho was pulling and pushing me and Petit came in from the other side. Referee Horacio Elizondo did nothing and I planted my foot down on Carvalho - it one of those moments when you’re not thinking.
I knew it was a red card and back in the dressing room I watched the rest of the game on a little TV, thinking: ‘If we win this, I’m suspended for a World Cup semi-final and final and if we lose it’s my fault.’ It was the worst, weirdest feeling I’ve had in football.
I had my phone in my hand and I was getting all these messages about Ronaldo. Of course, when he ran over to ask Elizondo to send me off I pushed him away. In that moment I couldn’t believe what he was doing. But sitting in that dressing room gave me time to calm down and think.
I put myself in Ronaldo’s shoes. Would I do the same? Probably. Would I be in the ref’s face to make sure he got sent off? If he deserved the red, if it would help us win - yes, no question. I’d do it tomorrow. I thought: ‘Actually, I tried to get him booked in the first half for diving.’ And the wink thing, I didn’t see anything in that at all. It was nothing.
So I calmed down. I went over to him afterwards in the tunnel. I felt it was important to speak to him while it was still fresh and to do it face to face. He gave me a look as if to say sorry but by then I had my United head on. I said I’ve no issues with you. Enjoy your tournament and good luck. I’ll see you in a few weeks - and let’s go try and win the league
2020 04 05 Retrieve
[Rooney slams Hancock for making footballers ‘scapegoats’ in coronavirus pay cut debate] If the government approached me to help support nurses financially or buy ventilators I’d be proud to do so - as long as I knew where the money was going. I’m in a position where I could give something up. Not every footballer is in the same position. Yet suddenly the whole profession has been put on the spot with a demand for 30 per cent pay cuts across the board. Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats? How the past few days have played out is a disgrace. First the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said that Premier League players should take a pay cut. He was supposed to be giving the nation the latest on the biggest crisis we’ve faced in our lifetimes. Why was the pay of footballers even in his head? Was he desperate to divert attention from his government’s handling of this pandemic?
[On the subject of the Premier League’s statement on lowering salaries] It seemed strange to me because every other decision in this process has been kept behind closed doors, but this had to be announced publicly. Why? It feels as if it’s to shame the players – to force them into a corner where they have to pick up the bill for lost revenue. In my opinion it is now a no-win situation. Whatever way you look at it, we’re easy targets. The big clubs don’t need players to take pay cuts. Are you telling me Manchester United or Man City need 30 per cent of their players’ wages to survive? If that’s the case then football is in a far worse position than any of us imagined
2020 04 11 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney writes about getting sent off during the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ quarter-finals] I went over to him [Cristiano Ronaldo] afterwards in the tunnel. I felt it was important to speak to him while it was still fresh and to do it face to face. He gave me a look as if to say sorry but by then I had my [Manchester] United head on. I said I’ve no issues with you. Enjoy your tournament and good luck. I’ll see you in a few weeks - and let’s go try and win the league. The next three years were our best as a partnership and brought three titles and the Champions League. My red card in Gelsenkirchen was the starting point
2020 04 13 Retrieve
[United legend Wayne Rooney on Rashford] He has got a bit of everything. He is quick, he is strong. The only thing he could probably work on is his heading
2020 04 19 Retrieve
[Rooney says Kane will break my England record] I’m going to be honest - and this might surprise you - but I’m not a natural goalscorer. I hold the goal records for Manchester United and England and am very proud about that - yet there have been better number nines than me. How did I become a record-breaker if I wasn’t a natural scorer? Time. I played for United for 13 years, England for 15 years. I had time to break those records - and looking back I should have scored more. I don’t think it will take long for Harry Kane to claim my England record and it would be a proud moment for me. I’ve never been a selfish player and it would be great for England for Harry to get there. Bobby Charlton had to wait 50 years [for me to break his England record] - I hope it’s not so long for me. The United record might last longer simply because players don’t stay at clubs as long as they used to. Mind you, if [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo came to Old Trafford for a swansong they’d probably break it in three or four years!
2020 04 19b Retrieve
[Rooney calls for major MLS restructure] I didn’t realise it before, but obviously when I got [to D.C.] I seen it. My first week, we had a player who, when he finished training, he got told he was getting transferred onto somewhere else. I was like, ‘Why? What’s going on here? Where is he going? What’s going on?’ So, it’s difficult. I spoke to Steve [Birnbaum, D.C. team-mate] a lot. I was like, ‘Can he do that? Is it that easy to do? Is it that easy to actually move someone on?’
There’s no thought behind it in terms of this player might have a family, children, a life here. They might have told, ‘You know what? Move on. I know it works that way in basketball and in the NFL, but those players get paid millions and millions of pounds. So, they can afford to actually do that, but MLS players can’t.
They probably get a small percentage of money which won’t even cover the bills, won’t even cover what they have to live on. It’s wrong for that to happen. I think MLS needs to really look at that because, from seeing it, a lot of them owners are taking advantage of the league [structure], which is affecting American players. The American players are just the same as the South Americans, the English, the Spanish. The American players work just as hard, if not harder, and get taken advantage of
[Few outside of the US will know much of the inner workings of MLS] There is so much potential there, there is so much of a market. I said it when I left D.C., MLS have to take on the rules that Europe and the rest of soccer are taking.
Although they might not want to, and I know the rest of U.S. sports don’t do that, but if they don’t, then they will never get there [level with European leagues].
They get players like me and Zlatan, but I can’t give them Wayne Rooney from 10 years ago, Zlatan can’t give himself from 10 years ago. We can give you ourselves from now, we can go there and earn a decent amount of money and give the fans some entertainment, but we can’t give you our full potential. If MLS want players to reach their full potential, then they have to take the salary cap off
2020 04 19c Retrieve
[Rooney believes Messi is better than Ronaldo] Ronaldo wasn’t as focused on goals when we started playing together but you could see that all he wanted was to be the best player in the world. He practised and practised and began to produce. Cristiano has become an incredible scorer and he and Messi are arguably the best two players the game has seen. But despite my friendship with Cristiano, I’d go for Messi. It’s for the same reason I loved watching Xavi and [Paul] Scholes: it’s the different things in Messi’s game.
[Rooney believes Messi’s natural talent gives him the edge over Cristiano] I’ve talked about composure and I can’t remember seeing Messi score when he has hit the ball as hard as he could. He just rolls them in, makes it so easy. Ronaldo is ruthless in the box, a killer. But Messi will torture you before he kills you. With Messi you just get the impression he is having more fun. Those two have completely changed the game in terms of goalscoring numbers and I don’t think they’ll ever be matched
2020 04 19d Retrieve
[Rooney reveals his best goal] When asked about my favourite goal, I always say the overhead kick versus City - but we’re talking, here, about the craft of goalscoring, how it’s about teamwork, movement, control and timing and a goal that probably few people remember sticks out for me. It came versus Wigan, when Rafael crossed from the right and my timing was literally perfect: I got across the centre-back, got a nick on the ball and the ‘keeper had no chance
You learn little things along the way. The best advice I received was from Fergie. He’d say: ‘You’re working too hard’ and at first I thought: ‘What do you mean? Isn’t that what you want?’ But I used to try to run as hard as I could for 90 minutes and in the last ten minutes be tired. The manager wanted his strikers to keep a little bit in the tank, because that match-winning chance might not arrive until the 90th minute - Fergie time!
Before joining United, I’d seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scoring all these goals by shooting through defenders’ legs - incredible. I watched him in training, I spoke to him: ‘How do you know what the defender is going to do?’ It was quite simple. Ole explained that when you shape to shoot, defenders tend to stick their leg out to try and block and that makes a gap. He perfected the technique. And it’s harder for the ‘keeper because they don’t see the ball when it leaves your foot. I scored one past Joe Hart against Manchester City that way
2020 04 25 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney on himself] This might surprise you, but I’m not a natural goalscorer. I was never a Gary Lineker or a Ruud van Nistelrooy
2020 05 03 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney believes former Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison was a country mile better than the likes of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard] I remember watching Ravel Morrison thinking he had everything required for a player in his position. He nutmegged Nemanja Vidic three times in the space of a minute in one training game. But he struggled with lifestyle and his environment which was sad for him - because I saw Paul Pogba come through, Jesse Lingard, all these players and Ravel was better than any of them by a country mile. He’s proof that you can’t escape the fact there are guidelines every player has to obey in professional football. Then you think how far you can go by being ultra-professional. Gary Neville, for instance. Gary’s not a great football player but he worked in every minute of every training session and made the most of everything he had. Sir Alex Ferguson used to say the hardest thing in life is to work hard every day. Forget all your ability, strip everything back: if you can work hard every day, in whatever job you do you’ll be successful
2020 05 07 Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney on Liverpool’s title] They deserve this title. an you imagine waiting 30 years and then having it taken away like this?
2020 05 17 Retrieve
[Rooney picks preferred position for Man Utd star] A nightmare is the Frank Lampard type, the midfielder who runs past you. With Frank, when the ball went wide you knew he would be off, sprinting into the box and he was one of those about who Fergie would say: ‘This player is not a one-man job - you have to pass them on’. He would say that about some you wouldn’t imagine: Stephen Ireland was one, Jermaine Jenas another, purely because they were willing to run beyond your midfield and with those players, there’s going to be a crossover movement from when your central midfielder is dealing with it to when your centre back is. One lapse of team concentration in that moment and the best - like Lampard - punish you.
[The Frenchman has scored 31 goals and registered a further 31 assists in 151 appearances across all competitions for United] That’s why I would love to see Paul Pogba playing deeper and attacking the box the moment the ball went wide. He would score more goals and with his good feet, his athleticism, he would be an absolute nightmare. I would use him in that role - it’s one where, if he developed in it, he could be incredible
2020 05 17b Retrieve
[Rooney says Man Utd sacked Van Gaal too soon] I was devastated when Louis was sacked. For me, it was an absolute joy to work with him. We should have kept him for a third season. We would have been so much stronger. I felt things were improving and players started to understand his vision. In those two years I learned more than under any other manager. This is why I will be forever grateful to him. Not just for making me captain, but also for all the trust and belief he had in me.
We didn’t have the best team in the league anyway, but we could not afford to have 12 players injured. Our best XI was good enough to play in the top four, but once we got injuries we got in trouble because we did not have the same quality in the squad as in the years before.
At the time it was good for me because I had decided that I wanted to become a manager. And working with Louis in that way was priceless in my opinion, because I could learn so much from him. I could not have wished for a better example
2020 05 17c Retrieve
[Gerard Pique was bullied out of the Premier League because he could not handle Bolton Wanderers’ physicality] Bolton away more or less finished Gerard Pique’s career at United. He was young and got bullied there and I think that’s when Fergie decided that, physically, he wasn’t right for the Premier League. I always remember Vidic: if we were going to Bolton - and it was the same when he was about to face Didier Drogba - he would be in the gym for two or three days before, pumping himself up
Bolton had bits of quality too and the way they fought and worked as a unit, then found moments to use that quality, was typical of how a team can beat better players by being more than the sum of its parts. It happened when United played Barcelona in the 2008 Champions League semi-final. Barca played the better football by a mile in both legs and that was 180 minutes of pure hard work, of hanging in there, and riding your luck. Real teams realise that sometimes you have to win ugly
2020 05 17d Retrieve
The only player who can really do their own thing is the striker. As long as the midfield and back four or five are behind, squeezing up, the striker can leave his position and press the keeper or look for space and you can keep your shape. But say it’s a midfielder: if the opposition plays it round them then your striker has to drop in, or if one of their forwards fills the hole then does your centre back go with him? Does your full-back then come across? One midfielder being out of position can affect a lot of players on the pitch
2020 06 07 Retrieve
[Former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney has revealed he once confronted one of his former managers on behalf of his team-mates to tell him his training sessions were sh*t] When players aren’t happy, they often go to the captain and you end up being the one to present complaints. That can lead to difficult conversations. At one club I was asked to go and tell the manager his training sessions were not good enough. That’s not an easy one. ‘Excuse me, gaffer. The lads think your training’s shit’.
It can be a lot to take on. You represent the players in meetings over the squad’s charity work and commercial activities. You talk to the PFA. During Covid, what captains have needed more than anything is to be there for their players.
[Rooney succeeded Steven Gerrard as England captain after the 2014 World Cup] Captaining your country is a privilege but a challenge on a different scale to captaining a club. You’re not with your players every day, the off-field commitments are huge - and with England a significant duty is having to help negotiate the players’ commercial payments. It’s your responsibility to welcome new players and settle them into the squad. I always made sure I hung around the games room and coffee area a lot during the day, so I was there for players - especially new ones - to talk to. The media duties are more intense. You face the country’s leading journalists - and not all of them think you should be captain. Some press conferences are tough. In 2015, when France played at Wembley following the Paris attacks, before the pre-match conference I remember sitting in the office with Roy and (FA chief executive) Martin Glenn and disagreeing with the FA’s briefing
Some press conferences are tough. In 2015, when France played at Wembley following the Paris attacks, before the pre-match conference I remember sitting in the office with Roy and (FA chief executive) Martin Glenn and disagreeing with the FA’s briefing
I went into every captain’s press conference wanting to be honest and there are tricks. If you want to give a particular answer, you make sure you get asked the question. At Euro 2016, Raheem Sterling was going through a tough time, facing unfair criticism, so via the FA’s press officers I made sure a journalist asked me a question that allowed me to defend him
[On one such occasion in November 2016, Rooney was criticised in the press for allegedly being drunk and gatecrashing a wedding at a hotel the day after an England game. Rooney insists the headlines were not a true reflection of what really happened] I’ve had a lot of stuff in the press since I was 16, a lot of it crap. But half of it is my own fault and that’s where you need to grow up as a person. I’d been through that so when I became England captain the level of attention was no big change for me, but it might have been a bigger change for someone like Harry Kane. You need to be a strong character. The England armband means your behaviour is judged differently
After my last competitive international, v Scotland in 2016, there were headlines about me having a drink in The Grove Hotel yet the truth was it was a Saturday, we’d played on Friday and it was already decided I wouldn’t be involved - not even on the bench - in a match on Tuesday versus Spain.
I could have gone home. Gareth and I agreed, though, that as captain it would be good if I stayed around the camp and attended the game. As happened during my whole England career when there was a break, players were given the evening off and permission to let their hair down, even have a drink. Some players headed into London but I knew it would get more attention if I accompanied them, so I stayed in the hotel along with a few others, including staff, and had a drink
On reflection I could have made a different decision but what followed was way over the top. In the aftermath, the FA was too scared of the reaction to defend me and so the coverage went overboard. I had to be strong and deal with the situation. I’ve dealt with it my whole career
2020 06 07b Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney has leapt to the defence of former team-mate Roy Keane over his now-infamous interview with Manchester United’s TV station that is believed to have hastened his departure from Old Trafford 15 years ago] Roy Keane was vocal. He had an aura. I remember my first United training session thinking, ‘I need to impress him.’ Not the manager. Him. I was at United when he gave his infamous MUTV interview but disagree with how it’s portrayed. Roy was supposedly too critical of his team-mates but I’ve watched the video and there’s nothing wrong with it at all. He said that players can’t pass the ball ten yards and they’re playing for Manchester United and it’s not good enough. Well, he’s right
Captains set the example through performances. They don’t have to be the best player, but they have to be consistent. They can’t show weakness. They have to always show belief. If you go a goal down you have to keep encouraging, demonstrating your calmness to everyone. The best captains I played for had different personalities but shared those traits. David Beckham was quiet, but it was an iconic time when he was captain of England because of his status in the game. He led through his attitude and work rate. Stevie Gerrard brought drive and determination. He wasn’t the most vocal, but you knew by one of his tackles what he was saying. John Terry was very good too; Duncan Ferguson was really quiet off the pitch but on it was all heart and fight
2020 06 21 Retrieve
[Rooney reveals he advised Man Utd to sign Gueye a month after re-joining Everton] Everyone talks about his tackling and energy but what surprised me was his quality on the ball - he always looked to play it forward and to your feet. After a month playing with him, I spoke to people at Manchester United saying he was good enough for them. I wasn’t shocked when Paris Saint-Germain signed him.
[Rooney added on Fellaini] He was an absolute handful. He didn’t mean to, but he’d always catch you with a knee or elbow; he scored goals, was always threatening and never got the credit he deserved. He was such a nice person and when he was getting stick at a1a30d1e8b45be8dca0b814f9353f274 it was hard for him. I admired the character he showed to get through that and win fans around a bit.
2020 06 21b Retrieve
[Rooney says Liverpool can dominate for a decade if manager stays] Liverpool’s squad is young and all the key players are tied down on long contracts. They have huge potential to win more trophies. Klopp says it’s impossible for any club to dominate like United once did but he is wrong. There’s a simple way for Liverpool: let Klopp go on and on. United dominated because Fergie stayed so long. I think if Klopp, who is only 53, stayed at Anfield for the next 10 years Liverpool would win at least five Premier League titles. He could keep building great sides because, as I mentioned, players join clubs to work with managers as good as him. If I were one of Liverpool’s owners, I would be doing everything in my power to tie him down for many years
2020 06 21c Retrieve
[Wayne Rooney says Mohamed Salah is beginning to have the same effect for Liverpool as Cristiano Ronaldo once had for Manchester United] Mo Salah is starting to do what f4e188f1e3720e67296d3818c53a72c5 did for a1a30d1e8b45be8dca0b814f9353f274, in terms of just being there and not really getting back to defend but always being a threat so that if you’re a defender or midfielder playing against him. You’re terrified of him on the counterattack
2020 06 23 Retrieve
[Rebekah Vardy suing Coleen Rooney for libel over Instagram leak claims] For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The Sun newspaper of my private posts and stories. There has been so much information given to them about me, my friends and my family - all without my permission or knowledge. After a long time of trying to figure out who it could be, for various reasons, I had a suspicion. To try and prove this, I came up with an idea. I blocked everyone from viewing my Instagram Stories except one account. (Those on my private account must have been wondering why I haven’t had stories there for a while). Over the past five months I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into The Sun newspaper. And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about basement flooding in my new house
It’s been tough keeping it to myself and not making any comment at all, especially when the stories have been leaked, however I had to. Now I know for certain which account/individual it’s come from. It… Rebekah Vardy’s account