Wayne Rooney Retires to Become Full-Time Derby County Manager

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 15, 2021

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Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney retired from on-field competition on Friday, with Derby County announcing he has agreed to become their full-time manager through the summer of 2023.

Rooney's 19-year professional playing career began at Everton and also included a stop with MLS' D.C. United.

Rooney, who served as a player-manager for Derby following Phillip Cocu's sacking in November, retired from international competition in 2018.

The 35-year-old expressed optimism about the potential of the Rams, a Championship club that's currently 22nd in the table:

"When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club. The Stadium, Training Ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive. Despite other offers I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me.
"To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club."

His first match as Derby County's full-time manager comes on Saturday against Rotherham United at Pride Park.

Regardless of how his managerial career turns out, Rooney will always be remembered for his terrific tenure at Manchester United from 2004 through 2017.

His 253 goals for the Red Devils, including 183 in the Premier League, rank first all time in the storied club's history. He also ranks sixth in total appearances with 559.

Rooney's tenure with United was highlighted by five Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League triumph and 10 other trophies scattered across various competitions.

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At the same time, he was serving as the leader of England's national team, ranking first in goals (53) and second in caps (120) for the Three Lions.

After his time at Old Trafford ended, he made a brief return to Everton, spent two seasons with D.C. United and made 35 appearances in a dual coaching-playing role for Derby County.