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Wayne Rooney

wayne rooney

Wayne Mark Rooney was born October 24, 1985 in Croxteth, a suburb of Liverpool, to Jeanette and Wayne Rooney, Sr. – two Everton supporters who raised all three of their sons to be fanatical fans of the local soccer team. Wayne decorated his room in the family's council flat with Everton posters and was even the Everton mascot at a Merseyside derby when he was 12. One of Wayne's younger brothers, John, is following him on to Everton.

Rooney had a poor childhood on the city streets, but he lived to play soccer for the local boys' club, Copplehouse, in the Walton and Kirkdale Junior League. At nine years old, he was spotted by Everton scout Bob Pendleton and eventually recruited to the Everton Academy. He made his football Premier League debut in August of 2002 against Tottenham. In October, the 16 year old Rooney earned his first goal and a victory (2 - 1) for Everton in the last minute of a tight game against Arsenal. His outstanding skills earned him the honor of BBC Sports Personality of the Year Young Personality in 2002.

Roo-mania had begun...

His performance on the soccer field drew attention from other premiership teams. Though Rooney's boyhood dream was to play for Everton, a record setting six-year deal worth $48.3 million (£30 million - initially £23 million with an additional £7 million possible coming from appearances and performances) convinced him that the time had come to trade the Everton blue for the Mancheter United red. He was signed by Manchester United on the last day of August, transfer deadline day, 2004 – just under two months before his 19th birthday.

Wayne Rooney released a statement through the Man U team that expressed his mixed emotions. He said, "It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I've supported and played for all my life, but I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United... I feel this can only improve my career, playing with top players in top competitions like the Champions League."

Roo-mania has generated plenty of quotes. Rooney's team-mate, Ryan Giggs, had this to say about Rooney's debut with the team, "To score a hat-trick in your first match for Manchester United is a very special feat but Wayne's display was even more unbelievable because of the circumstances. He's 18, it was his first taste of the Champions League and he hadn't played for three months. It's the sort of start you normally only dream of. His performance was outstanding but it was his sharpness that impressed me most."

Arsenal striker, Thierry Henry, commented, "I have always said that Wayne Rooney is an amazing player, the kind of striker which any team in the world would like to have. He has the sort of forward's instinct which you cannot buy and no coach can teach. You are born with it."

In February 2003, Wayne Rooney began playing for England. The 17 year old was the youngest player both to join the team and to score a goal for England. After this young footballer's performance as the top goal scorer in Euro 2004, England manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, remarked that Rooney was the greatest teenage talent to emerge at a soccer tournament since Pele at the 1958 World Cup. Now fans call him "El Blanco Pele" - the white Pele. Pele is reported to have described Wayne Rooney as an "exciting talent with composure beyond his years."

That is not the only South American comparison the young striker gets. Rooney's stunning play has won him the nickname "Roonaldo", a reference to the Brazilian superstar.

Eriksson has named Wayne Rooney in his final 23-man squad for the World Cup. Wayne has been given the number nine shirt and is eager to play, but the young striker may not make an appearance on the field due to an injury suffered at the end of April . The England manager maintains that, "I don't think Wayne even believes that not being at the World Cup will be the case for him. He is desperate to play in the World Cup. He has no negative thoughts like that."

Doc's Sports picks Wayne Rooney as one of the key 2006 World Cup players... "England may have a number of stars; Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard and company - but only one precocious 20-year old has the talent to lead the English to glory this summer. Wayne Rooney has been in scintillating form for Manchester United this season. United's poor early season - with early exits from the English FA Cup and the Champions League - has meant that Rooney has been playing considerably less games than most top-class players on the plane to Germany, and so he remains relatively fresh for the World Cup. He was the shining light in England's stop-start qualifying campaign, and strikes genuine fear into opponents. Whether he strikes gold as well this summer, remains to be seen - but he's playing well enough to see England lift the trophy."

On the personal side, despite rumored trysts with prostitutes, Wayne will marry childhood sweetheart Colleen McCloughlin in the near future. The hefty diamond and the house and dog they share are signs of his commitment. He brings his rough upbringing and temper to the field which has caused some difficulties, but most believe that will tone down now that he's in his twenties.

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