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Wayne Rooney is one of the world's best-known soccer players and a top scorer for the Manchester United club.
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Wayne Rooney was born on October 24, 1985, in Croxteth, Liverpool, England. The temperamental but prolific scorer made his professional debut with Everton in 2002 but has enjoyed his greatest success as a member of the Manchester United club. One of the world's best-known soccer players, Rooney is endorsed by Nike and EA Sports, and has written multiple books for HarperCollins Publishers.
Wayne Mark Rooney was born on October 24, 1985, in Croxteth, Liverpool, England, to Wayne and Jeanette Rooney. Rooney, who has two younger brothers, attended Our Lady & St. Swithin's RC primary school and later De La Salle secondary school. From an early age, Rooney's talent on the field was hard to miss. He scored 99 goals for a local junior league team at age 9, catching the attention of a scout with the Everton Football Club, a franchise in the English Premier League. Rooney signed with Everton and spent the next several years playing within the club's youth ranks.
Rooney made his professional debut with Everton in August 2002. Two months later, he showed his penchant for scoring and coming up big in important games when he became the youngest-ever goal scorer in Premier League history. The goal put Rooney in the record books, and the last-minute score steered the team to a victory over Arsenal, which had come into the contest sporting a 30-game unbeaten streak. In 2002 Rooney captured the BBC Sports Young Personality of the Year award.
Despite his earlier affinity for his local pro club, in 2004 Rooney signed on with Manchester United after his new team paid Everton a transfer fee of roughly $48 million. The move was seen as treason by Everton fans, and when he later returned to play against his old club, he was roundly booed by his former supporters.
Rooney, however, expressed no regrets about the change, and neither did United. In the 2006 Football League Cup, the quick-tempered playmaker, whom the team would make captain that year, scored twice to lead his club to a 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic in the final. Over the next five seasons, Rooney steered United to four Premier League titles. He also helped his club win the 2008 UEFA Champions League and scored the winning goal in the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.
In 2008, Rooney became the youngest player ever to play in 200 Premier League games. The following season he became just the 20th player in team history to score more than 100 goals for the franchise. Named 2010 PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year, Rooney needed only to help England achieve significant World Cup success to cement his status as an international icon.
In 2006, Rooney landed an approximately $7 million book deal from HarperCollins to write his autobiography, Wayne Rooney: My Story So Far. The book put Rooney in a bit of hot water with his former manager at Everton, David Moyes, who sued his ex-player for libel. The two reached an undisclosed settlement before the case saw the courtroom.
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To Americans, it is soccer. Elsewhere, it is called football, calcio or nogomet. Whatever your preference, with estimates of more than 250 million participants across 200-plus countries, it is a game of unmatched global reach and popularity. It's been noted that one doesn't need special size or skills to play, but of course the game's all-time greats displayed dazzling combinations of speed, smarts and athletic ability throughout their careers. Look through our roster of soccer legends, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona, and you'll understand why this sport of many names is also known as "the beautiful game."
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