Wayne Rooney tried to make the announcement that he was ending his playing career low-key by announcing it at the same time as he was confirmed as Derby County manager on a full-time basis, but tributes to the former England and Manchester United captain still poured in on social media.
Rooney, 35, is the record goal scorer for the England men’s national team with 53 goals, and his haul of 120 caps is more than any other outfield player, so there were plenty of highlights from his international career for the English Football Association to share.
Wishing you all the best in management 👊 pic.twitter.com/5vXyBFbJqr
— England (@England) January 15, 2021
Rooney is also United’s record goal scorer with 253 goals scored between 2004 and 2017. Over the course of those 13 years at Old Trafford, he won five Premier League titles as well as the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup among his haul of 16 trophies.
Quite the #PL career…
👕 491 appearances
⚽️ 208 goals
🅰️ 103 assists
🏆 5 titles
🥇 1 Player of the Season pic.twitter.com/SVsFjh95eW
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 15, 2021
🔴 Wayne Rooney ends his illustrious playing career…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) January 15, 2021
And now, 𝗮 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗿.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2021
Rooney’s time at United came in between two spells at Everton, and after his second stint at his beloved boyhood club, he had a brief but memorable spell in Major League Soccer with DC United.
💙 | Once a Blue, twice a Blue, always a Blue…
Congratulations on an incredible playing career, @WayneRooney. We wish you nothing but the best of luck in management. 👏
— Everton (@Everton) January 15, 2021
— dcunited (@dcunited) January 15, 2021
Marcus Rashford was one of the first to congratulate his former England and United teammate on a fabulous career.
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) January 15, 2021
While Rio Ferdinand posted a comprehensive tribute video to “Wazza,” he couldn’t resist reminding him of the time Rooney forgot to “@” him with a private message.
The @WayneRooney Retirement / Appreciation Post!
▪️Cabinet full of Trophies
Good Luck with your new chapter Wazza ❤️
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) January 15, 2021
From one former England skipper to another, Gary Lineker also lavished Rooney with praise.
One of our all-time great footballers has retired. It’s never an easy moment for any player but @WayneRooney has enjoyed a truly wonderful career on the field. Here’s hoping he’s successful off the pitch with @dcfcofficial. Well played and good luck. 👍🏻
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) January 15, 2021
Meanwhile, fellow Liverpudlian Jamie Carragher always knew Rooney would be great… because the man himself told him!
What a player & career! @WayneRooney Top scorer for club & country plus plenty of medals to go with it ⚽️🏆 Its funny because he told me he would achieve all of that the first time I ever met him, in a nightclub!! #Rooney pic.twitter.com/zBzOFUyd1t
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 15, 2021
For those of a certain age, Rooney hanging up his boots is a stark reminder of the inexorable passage of time …
Every member of England’s Euro 2004 squad has now retired.
The Golden Generation ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/6odyAf8B6y
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 15, 2021
… while one throwback clip reminds us that there is a whole generation that grew up inspired by him.
Throwback to when this mascot realized he was standing next to Wayne Rooney 😲
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 15, 2021
As he embarks on his new life as a manager, we mustn’t forget what a dynamo of a player he was at his peak, and even occasionally in his later years. And boy, he sure did love a long-range goal.
This play sums up Wayne Rooney perfectly.
One of a kind 👊 pic.twitter.com/QNbHNfWchu
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 15, 2021
— Everton (@Everton) May 1, 2018
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 10, 2018
WAYNE R😱😱NEY! #SCtop10
— ESPN (@espn) June 27, 2019