5 Memorable Moments for Manchester United and England Man Wayne Rooney
When Wayne Rooney first burst on the scene, he was tipped to go on and become one of the greatest England players of all time.
As it stands, he is nine goals short of equalling Sir Bobby Charlton's goalscoring record, but he's never quite fulfilled the promise the fans believed he had—on the international stage, at least.
Rooney was expected to lead the team to glory, but England have time and again been a disappointment to the fans.
He has no final appearances or silverware in international competition to add to his impressive club CV, but Rooney has still had plenty of memorable moments in an England shirt.
Rooney became the youngest player to play for England when he earned his first cap in a friendly against Australia in February 2003.
He was just 17 years and 111 days old, replacing Michael Owen at half-time. England were 2-0 down at that point and went on to lose 3-1.
First Goal: 2004
Rooney first made a real name for himself on the international stage at Euro 2004. He became the youngest scorer in the competition's history, as well as England's youngest scorer, when he found the back of the net twice against Switzerland.
He scored four goals in four matches before picking up an injury, and he was named in UEFA's Team of the Tournament.
Red Card: 2006
Rooney was sent off in the quarter-final match against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup. Having been fouled repeatedly, Rooney was adjudged to have stamped on Ricardo Carvalho.
The player has always denied that the stamping was intentional, per Rob Draper of the Daily Mail:
I didn't feel guilty about what had happened because I still felt innocent. But my sending-off had let them down. Because of me, for whatever reason, they'd been made to struggle on with only 10 men.
There had been some claims that Cristiano Ronaldo was at fault, for being one of several players to complain about Rooney's stamp to the referee. However, referee Horacio Elizondo said his decision had never been in doubt, per Sky Sports:
It was violent play and therefore he got a red card. People can say what they want (about Ronaldo) but this had absolutely no influence. In general I don't pay much attention to that sort of thing because I don't care about the pressure on my shoulders during a match. For me it was a clear red card, so I didn't react to the Portuguese players. There was pushing and shoving on both sides but for me it wasn't a reason to caution anybody.
England went on to draw the game 0-0 but three out of the four penalty takers missed in the shootout.
Captaining England: 2012
Rooney has been tipped to be future England captain since he first broke on to the international stage as a teenager.
Back in 2008, England manager at the time Fabio Capello had already singled Rooney out, per the BBC:
Wayne Rooney is young but I believe in the future he could be captain of England one day. He is a leader, he is a good example on the pitch. We need to give him a bit more time to get some more experience and mature a bit.
Rooney was named captain for England's World Cup qualifying game against San Marino. Roy Hodgson hinted that this would be his future role, per Paul Wilson for The Guardian:
Wayne was my vice-captain during the Euros, that was always clear. I know Frank Lampard is coming back into contention and he has captained the team but I always had it in my mind that Wayne would be the player I'd turn to if Steven Gerrard was unavailable. It's something he's very proud of, something he really wants to do, he does take playing for England unbelievably seriously and the good thing for us is that we are now seeing the best of Wayne Rooney.
First World Cup Goal: 2014
Having assisted Daniel Sturridge's goal in England's opening game of the 2014 World Cup, Rooney bagged a goal for himself to equalise against Uruguay in their second game.
Despite regularly being England's top scorer when qualifying for tournaments, he hadn't previously scored a goal in the World Cup itself.
Sadly, Luis Suarez went on to score his second of the night to win the game 2-1 and made England's chances of getting out of the group very slim.