Did you Know?
Rooney is a creative, energetic forward who combines technical skill with strength and physicality, while also excelling in the air despite his lack of height. He is a versatile attacker, capable of playing anywhere along the front line; although his preferred role is as a striker, he has also been used as a supporting forward, or even as a winger. In more recent years, he has even been deployed in a deeper, more creative role, as an attacking midfielder, or even as a central or box-to-box midfielder under former manager Louis van Gaal, due to his vision, range of passing and team-work. A prolific goalscorer, Rooney is a powerful striker of the ball and an accurate finisher, who is capable of scoring goals both inside and outside the penalty area, as well as from volleys. In addition to his offensive attributes, he has been praised for his work-rate and stamina by players, managers and the media, and is highly regarded for his dedication and willingness to press opponents when possession has been lost in order to win back the ball and start attacking plays. Due to his precocious displays as a teenager, Wayne Rooney was given the nicknames “Wazza” (a reference to former England international Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne, who was also a gifted player troubled by off-field issues), “The Wonder Boy”, and “The White Pelé”. Rooney was a fast, agile player in his youth; however, several injuries throughout his career have affected his speed and mobility in recent years, which has led to some in the game accusing him of not quite living up to his full potential, on occasion. Despite his reputation as one of the top strikers of his generation, and as one of England’s greatest ever players and all-time leading goalscorer, Rooney has been criticised for his behaviour and aggression on the pitch at times, which has led him to pick up unnecessary bookings.