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Aged 10, Rooney joined the youth team of Everton, for whom he made his professional debut in 2002. He spent two seasons at the Merseyside club, before moving to Manchester United for £25.6 million in the 2004, summer transfer window. Since then, he has won the Premier League three times, the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League and two League Cups. He has also been awarded the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009–10.
Rooney made his England debut in 2003 and, at UEFA Euro 2004, he briefly became the competition's youngest goalscorer. He is frequently selected for the England squad and also featured at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As of August 2010, he has won 65 international caps and scored 25 goals.
Rooney was born in Croxteth, Liverpool to Thomas Wayne and Jeanette Marie Rooney (née Morrey). He is of Irish descent and was brought up Catholic in Croxteth with younger brothers Graeme and John; all three attended De La Salle School. He grew up supporting his local club Everton; his childhood hero was Duncan Ferguson.
Rooney began playing for Liverpool Schoolboys and at the age of 10 was signed on schoolboy terms by Everton F.C. After scoring in an FA Youth Cup match, he revealed a T-shirt under his jersey that read, "Once a Blue, always a Blue." Since he was under 17 at the time and therefore ineligible for a professional contract, he was playing for £80 a week and living with his family on one of the country's most deprived council estates.
On 19 October 2002, five days before his 17th birthday, Rooney scored a match-winning goal against reigning league champions Arsenal; in addition to ending Arsenal's 30-match unbeaten run, it made Rooney the youngest goalscorer in Premier League history, a record that has since been surpassed twice; first by James Milner and then by James Vaughan. He was named BBC Sports' 2002 Young Personality of the Year.
At the end of the 2003–04 season, citing Everton's inability to challenge for European competition (they had finished seventh the previous season and only just missed out on a UEFA Cup place, but in 2003–04, finishing in 17th place, had narrowly avoided relegation), Rooney requested a transfer that Everton refused to oblige unless the transfer fee was in excess of £50 million. A three-year, £12,000-a-week contract offer from the club was snubbed by Rooney's agent in August 2004, leaving Manchester United and Newcastle United to compete for his signature. The Times reported that Newcastle were close to signing Rooney for £18.5 million, as confirmed by Rooney's agent, but Manchester United ultimately won the bidding war and Rooney signed at the end of the month after a £25.6 million deal with Everton was reached. It was the highest fee paid for a player aged under 20; Rooney was still only 18 years old when he left Everton.
Rooney made his United debut on 28 September 2004 in a 6–2 Champions League group stage win over Fenerbahçe, scoring a hat-trick and laying on an assist. However, his first season at Old Trafford ended without winning a trophy as United could only manage a third place finish in the league (having been champions or runners-up on all but two previous occasions since 1992) and failed to progress to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. United had more success in the cup competitions, but were edged out of the League Cup in the semi finals by a Chelsea side who also won the Premier League title that season, and a goalless draw with Arsenal in the FA Cup final was followed by a penalty shoot-out defeat. However, Rooney was United's top league scorer that season with 11 goals, and was credited with the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
In September 2005, Rooney was sent off in a UEFA Champions League clash with Villarreal of Spain (which ended in a goalless draw) for sarcastically clapping the referee who had booked him for an unintentional foul on an opponent. His first trophy with United came in the 2006 League Cup, and he was also named man of the match after scoring twice in United's 4–0 win over Wigan Athletic in the final. In the Premier League, however, an erratic start to the season left title glory looking unlikely for United and their title hopes were ended in late April when they lost 3–0 at home to champions Chelsea and had to settle for second place. Rooney's goalscoring further improved in the 2005–06 season, as he managed 16 goals in 36 Premier League games.
Rooney was sent off in an Amsterdam Tournament match against Porto on 4 August 2006 after hitting Porto defender Pepe with an elbow. He was punished with a three-match ban by the FA, following their receipt of a 23-page report from referee Ruud Bossen that explained his decision. Rooney wrote a letter of protest to the FA, citing the lack of punishment handed down to other players who were sent off in friendlies. He also threatened to withdraw the FA's permission to use his image rights if they did not revoke the ban, but the FA had no power to make such a decision.
During the first half of the 2006–07 season, Rooney ended a ten-game scoreless streak with a hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers, and he signed a two-year contract extension the next month that tied him to United until 2012. By the end of April, a combination of two goals in an 8–3 aggregate quarter-final win over Roma and two more in a 3–2 semi-final first leg victory over AC Milan brought Rooney's total goal amount to 23 in all competitions and tied him with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo for the team goalscoring lead. By the end of that season, he had scored 14 league goals.
Rooney collected his first Premier League title winner's medal at the end of the 2006–07 season, but has yet to pick up an FA Cup winner's medal; he had to settle for a runners-up medal in the 2007 FA Cup Final.
On 12 August 2007, Rooney fractured his left metatarsal in United's opening-day goalless draw against Reading; he had suffered the same injury to his right foot in 2004. After being sidelined for six weeks, he returned for United's 1–0 Champions League group stage win over Roma on 2 October, scoring the match's only goal. However, barely a month into his return, Rooney injured his ankle during a training session on 9 November, and missed an additional two weeks. His first match back was against Fulham on 3 December, in which he played 70 minutes. Rooney missed a total of ten games and finished the 2007–08 season with 18 goals (12 of them in the league), as United clinched both the Premier League and the Champions League, in which they defeated league rivals Chelsea in the competition's first-ever all-English final.
On 4 October 2008 in an away win over Blackburn Rovers, Rooney became the youngest player in league history to make 200 appearances. On 14 January after scoring what turned out to be the only goal 54 seconds into the 1–0 win over Wigan Athletic, Rooney limped off with a hamstring ailment in the eighth minute. His replacement, Carlos Tévez, was injured himself shortly after entering the game, but stayed on. Rooney was out for three weeks, missing one match apiece in the League Cup and FA Cup, along with four Premier League matches. On 25 April 2009, Rooney scored his final league goals of the season against Tottenham. United scored 5 goals in an emphatic second half display to come from 2–0 down winning the game 5–2. Rooney grabbed two goals, set up two and provided the assist that led to the penalty for United's first goal. Rooney ended the season with 20 goals in all competitions, behind Ronaldo as leading United scorer for the season. Once again, he managed 12 goals in the league.
Rooney's start to the new campaign got off to great scoring ways, grabbing a goal in the 90th minute of the 2009 Community Shield, though United lost the game to Chelsea on penalties. He then scored the only goal of the opening game of the 2009–10 season against Birmingham City, taking his overall United tally to 99. He failed to score in the next game, a historic 1–0 defeat to the hands of newly-promoted Burnley at Turf Moor. On 22 August 2009, he became the 20th Manchester United player to have scored over 100 goals for the club, finding the net twice in a 5–0 away win at Wigan Athletic, a game which also saw Michael Owen notch his first goal for United.
On 29 August 2009, United played Arsenal at Old Trafford. Rooney scored the equaliser from the penalty spot after Andrei Arshavin had put the Gunners ahead. The game finished 2–1 to Manchester United after Abou Diaby scored an own goal. Five days later Rooney commented on his penalty against Arsenal: "Everyone who watches me play knows I am an honest player, I play the game as honestly as I can. If the referee gives a penalty there is nothing you can do." On 28 November 2009, Rooney scored his first hat-trick for three years in a 4–1 away victory against Portsmouth, with two of them being penalties. On 27 December 2009, he was awarded Man of the Match against Hull. He was involved in all the goals scored in the game, hitting the opener and then giving away the ball for Hull's equalizing penalty. He then forced Andy Dawson into conceding an own goal and then set up Dimitar Berbatov for United's third goal which gave them a 3–1 victory. On 30 December 2009, three days on from their victory over Hull, he grabbed another goal in United's 5–0 thrashing of Wigan in their final game of the decade. On 23 January 2010, Rooney scored all four goals in Manchester United's 4–0 win over Hull City; three of the goals came in the last 10 minutes of the match. This was the first time in his career that he bagged four in one match. On 27 January 2010, he continued his great scoring run by heading the winner in the second minute of stoppage time against derby rivals Manchester City. This gave United a 4–3 aggregate win, taking them into the final, it was his first League Cup goal since netting two in the 2006 final. On 31 January 2010, Rooney scored his 100th Premier League goal in a 3–1 win over Arsenal for the first time in the league at the Emirates, notably his first Premier League goal also came against Arsenal. On 16 February 2010, Rooney hit his first European goals of the season, scoring two headers in the 3–2 away win against A.C. Milan in their first ever win against them at the San Siro. On 28 February 2010, he scored another header against Aston Villa (his fifth consecutive headed goal in a row) which resulted in Manchester United winning the Carling Cup final 2–1. In the second leg of United's European tie against AC Milan, Rooney scored a brace in a resounding 4–0 home victory, taking his tally of goals this season to 30. He then added 2 more to his tally just 5 days later at Old Trafford, in a 3–0 win over Fulham.
On 30 March 2010, during United's Champions League Quarter-final first leg defeat against Bayern Munich (at Munich's Allianz Arena), Rooney crumpled when he twisted his ankle in the last minute. There were fears that he had received serious ligament damage or even a broken ankle, but it was announced that the injury was only slight ligament damage, and that he would be out for 2 to 3 weeks, missing United's crunch match with Chelsea and the return leg against Munich next week. The team list for second leg of the Champions League Quarter-final yielded a massive surprise when Rooney was given a starting place in the United lineup. Despite a 3–0 lead by the 41st minute, Munich snatched 2 goals back (with United forced down to 10 men after Rafael Da Silva was sent-off). Rooney was substituted after re-damaging his ankle. Manchester United, although they won the second leg 3–2, exited from the Champions League on the away goals rule. On 25 April 2010, Rooney was named the 2010 PFA Players' Player of the Year.
Images of Wayne Rooney