Wayne Mark Rooney is an English professional footballer. He has played much of his career as a forward, and he has also been used in various midfield roles. He is the record goalscorer for the England national team and for Manchester United. At club level, he has won every honour available in English, Continental and European football, with the exception of the European Super Cup. Along with Michael Carrick, he is the only English player to win the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, League Cup, UEFA Europa League and FIFA Club World Cup. Rooney joined the Everton youth team at the age of 9, and made his professional debut for the club in 2002 at the age of 16. He spent two seasons at the Merseyside club, before moving to Manchester United for £25.6 million in the 2004 summer transfer window. He won 16 trophies with the club, including five Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the Champions League in 2008. He scored 253 goals for the club in all competitions which makes him their top goalscorer of all time. His 200 Premier League goals make him the competition’s second top scorer of all time, behind Alan Shearer. Rooney holds the record for most goals for one club in the Premier League, with 183 for Manchester United. Rooney made his senior international debut for England in February 2003 aged 17, becoming the youngest player to represent England (a record since broken by Theo Walcott) and he is England’s youngest ever goalscorer. He played at UEFA Euro 2004 and scored four goals, briefly becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of the European Championship. Rooney has since featured at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups and is widely regarded as his country’s best player. He has won the England Player of the Year award four times, in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2015. With 53 goals in 119 international caps, Rooney is England’s all-time record goalscorer and second most-capped player, behind Peter Shilton. Along with David Beckham, Rooney is the most red carded player for England, having been sent off twice. In 2009–10, Rooney was awarded the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year. He has won the Premier League Player of the Month award five times, a record only bettered by Steven Gerrard. He came fifth in the vote for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or and was named in the FIFPro World 11 for 2011. Rooney has won the Goal of the Season award by the BBC’s Match of the Day poll on three occasions, with his bicycle kick against rivals Manchester City winning the Premier League Goal of the 20 Seasons award.
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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.
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Rooney has endorsement deals with Nike (he is the face of their T90 Laser IV boots), Nokia, Ford, Asda, and Coca-Cola. He appeared on six consecutive UK-version covers of Electronic Arts’ FIFA series from FIFA 06 (2005) to FIFA 12 (2011). In October 2010, Rooney was dropped by Coca-Cola from one of its advertising campaigns following issues surrounding his private life. In 2012, Rooney was listed as the fifth highest-paid player in the world, behind Lionel Messi (1st), David Beckham (2nd) and Cristiano Ronaldo (3rd), with an annual income of US$32.6 million. It was announced in July 2011, that jerseys with Rooney’s name and number were the best-selling sports product under the auspices of the Premier League. During the 2009–10 season, Manchester United sold between 1.2 million and 1.5 million shirts and it is estimated that of that, Rooney’s name was printed on several hundred thousand. The account is taken from official jerseys sales across the globe, not just in England. On 9 March 2006, Rooney signed the largest sports book deal in publishing history with HarperCollins, who granted him a £5 million advance plus royalties for a minimum of five books to be published over a 12-year period. The first, My Story So Far, an autobiography ghostwritten by Hunter Davies, was published after the 2006 World Cup. The second publication, The Official Wayne Rooney Annual, was aimed at the teenage market and edited by football journalist Chris Hunt. His third book, My Decade in the Premier League, was published in September 2012. In July 2006, Rooney’s lawyers went to the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to gain ownership of the Internet domain names waynerooney.com and waynerooney.co.uk, both of which Welsh actor Huw Marshall registered in 2002. Three months later, the WIPO awarded Rooney the rights to waynerooney.com.