Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from international football in a decision that has shocked many pundits and fans alike. Rooney grew up in the public eye and it was amazing to see his progression from a young prodigy to the Manchester United and England legend he became. We’ve picked out some memorable moments, good and bad, throughout his Three Lions Career.
Games Played: 119
Full Games: 50
Goals Scored: 53
Major Tournaments: 6
Official Match Captain: 22
Rooney earned his first cap for England in an International Friendly against Australia. He became the youngest player to play for England at 17 years and 111 days. He had a quiet debut but there would be a lot more to come from the then Wonderkid.
Rooney’s first goal was a crucial one and it came in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia to draw the sides level. David Beckham later settles the match with a penalty.
Perhaps not a single moment but this was the tournament that Wayne Rooney arrived on the world stage. Somewhat of an unknown outside of England, Rooney took the group stages by storm scoring 4 goals in 3 matches to help England qualify for the Quarter finals. England fans were dreaming of success as in Rooney, they had an X-Factor of a player ready to lead his nation to victory. However, as quick as he burst onto the scene, the dreams of Rooney and a nation ended as he was substituted off injured against Portugal in the Quarter Finals. With his departure also saw England exit the tournament on penalties. You can relive his four goals here.
Rooney picked up an injury against Chelsea in the lead up to the World Cup and England were relying on him to return and pick up where he left off in Euro 2004. It wasn’t to be as his first game back did not go to plan. He was short of match practice and his frustrations boiled over as He stamped on Ricardo Carvalho as he was sent off. It was also the moment where then team-mate, Cristiano Ronaldo, was seen as encouraging the ref to send off the young Lion. England would go on to lose that match with Ronaldo continuing his pantomime villain role to score the decisive penalty
Rooney became England captain in 2014 after the retirement of Steven Gerrard. While many felt this would hinder Rooney it invigorated him as he led England to another major tournament and scoring 13 goals in 2 years along the way. This was the evolution of the young energetic teenager who burst onto the scene like a whirlwind, to the calmer and older head who would lend advice to younger players while also leading them out against some of the world’s best teams.
Wayne Rooney broke the long standing goal scoring record, previously held by Sir Bobby Charlton, with a goal against Switzerland in a Euro 2016 qualifier. It came fittingly at Wembley stadium and was seen by Charlton himself. It was an amazing achievement in the same season he became the top goal scorer for Manchester United. While he was unable to win any major honors with England, Rooney was a key performer for many years and he has the caps and goalscoring record now to show it.