Wayne Rooney turns 26
Wayne Rooney is not quitting Manchester United just yet after all. The troubled striker has now signed a new 5-year contract with the 'Red Devils' that will keep him at Old Trafford till 2015.
With 78 internationals and close to 300 club caps under his belt, Wayne Rooney is one of the most experienced campaigners on the field. He has scored more than 100 goals for Manchester United in a spell that has seen them win the English Premier League four times and the Champions League on one occasion. <br><br>At just 26 years of age, the striker has seen the ups and downs of his career, with his mental presence being his most lethal asset and his temper being the worst. Here's a look at the life of England's most priced player.
Rooney got his first taste of limelight at the age of 9 when he entered the youth team of Everton. In the 1995–96 season he scored 114 goals in 29 games and then went on to play in the Under-19 side at just 15 years of age. <br><br>Rooney went on to make his debut for the Everton Premier League side in 2002 where he became the club's youngest goal-scorer at that time.
In December, Wayne Rooney was given the Young Sports Personality Award and then went on to be a regular feature in the Everton side. He scored consistently, making him a target for several big clubs in the league.
After his impressive show at Euro 2004, Manchester United grabbed the opportunity to land 18-year old Wayne Rooney in the side. The Red Devils paid close to 25 million pounds which was a record fee for any player 20 years of age.
Wayne Rooney was involved in a duel with his ex-manager David Moyes, who questioned Rooney's claims in his autobiography which accused Moyes of leaking the striker's reasons for leaving the club. The case was settled outside the court and Rooney apologised for the claims.
After one year of disappointment, Wayne Rooney got his first taste of trophy success at United when they won the League Cup in 2006. But the year ended in disappointment for the Englishman as he broke his right metatarsal, putting him in doubt for the World Cup finals.
The 2007-08 season turned out to be the best season for Manchester United with them winning the English Premier League as well as the Champions League. Rooney, who missed 10 games due to injury, went on to finish with 18 goals for the season.
Rooney became Manchester United's most valued player after the record breaking transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo. In the following year, transfer speculations regarding Wayne Rooney also hit the headlines hard.
Rooney set the cat amongst the pigeons in 2009 when he told Manchester United that he did not intend to extend his contract beyond the summer of 2012 because he was unhappy at the club's lack of ambition.<br><br> Rooney released a statement, detailing his concerns with United's squad strength and claiming he had not been given any assurances by club's chief executive David Gill about the club's future.<br><br> This led to a crisis meeting between manager Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill on the issue.
He was linked to clubs like Chelsea and Real Madrid. But most of the noise came from the other part of Manchester, with reports suggesting that Manchester City were interested in buying the player.<br><br> (Courtesy: iWafi on twitpic)
With reports of Rooney's departure from Manchester United to Manchester City growing stronger, the United fans made their displeasure public by vandalising the Nike store and also threatening the player with dire consequences if he eventually signed for the the 'Blues'.<br><br> Police was also called in to disperse angry supporters from outside Rooney's house.<br><br> (Courtesy: danroan on twitpic)
But in a surprising turnaround, the striker signed a new 5-year deal with Manchester United and pledged his future to the club on Friday.<br><br> "I'm delighted to sign another deal at United," Rooney said in a statement released by United. "In the last couple of days, I've talked to the manager and the owners and they've convinced me this is where I belong."<br><br> United manager Alex Ferguson said he was "delighted" Rooney had agreed to extend his contract.<br><br> "I'm sure everyone involved with the club will now get behind Wayne and show him the support he needs to produce the performances we know he is capable of," Ferguson said.<br><br> (Courtesy: anvy95 on twitpic)
Wayne Rooney's career has also never evaded controversies for long. From clapping at referees to abusing in the camera, Rooney's temper has been his menace several times.
The recent incident with a Montenegro player was a proof of the striker's ill-tempered self that is too harmful, even if it comes once in a blue moon. He was handed a three-match ban for the Euro 2012 matches.
Rooney really came into his own in the 2010-11 season. He completed 100 goals in the League for Manchester United and helped them to the Premier League title.