Kids today will never understand how good Wayne Rooney was.
It hasn’t helped that Rooney’s career has tailed off since he left Manchester United in 2017.
A year spent with Everton was followed by a stint in the United States before a return to England with Championship outfit Derby County.
When you think that Cristiano Ronaldo, eight months older than Rooney, is currently winning league titles in Italy, it’s rather disappointing how the Englishman’s career is coming to a close.
But there’s a reason why he’s regarded as a modern day legend.
For a stretch in the mid-2000s, Rooney dominated. And it culminated with his incredible 2009/10 season, in which he scored 34 goals in all competitions and won the PFA Player of the Year award.
Wayne Rooney 2009/2010:— Big H. (@Hxnz99) July 24, 2020
– PFA TOTY.
– PFA POTY.
– PFA Fans' POTY.
– Sir Matt Busby POTY.
– PL Player Of The Season.
– FWA Footballer Of The Year.
– Manchester United Players' POTY.
Undisputed best. #mufc pic.twitter.com/H2M2TNTI2n
Sir Alex Ferguson brought Rooney in as a fresh-faced teenager in 2004 and watched him develop into one of the greatest players England has ever produced.
“Wayne came in as a first-team player right away, even though he was only 18, and he’s gone on to play for Manchester United for 12 years, which is very difficult in the present day,” Ferguson said in 2016, per Sky Sports.
“I always think that great players can play in any era. Bobby Charlton would have been a great player today and Wayne Rooney would have been a great player back then.”
There are plenty of Rooney compilation videos on social media and YouTube but a new one, created by @Hxnz99, is up there with the best of the lot.
It features Rooney’s best moments from the 2009/10 campaign and it serves as a reminder of his glorious ability.
The streets will never forget the real Wayne Rooney…— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) July 28, 2020
Rooney the striker was lethal but as he began to showcase more of his skills, it quickly became apparent that he could be an all-rounder with excellent passing range.
In that 2009/10 season, Rooney’s responsibility was increased with the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in the summer, and the attacker knew that it would be left to him to contribute even more.
“Losing those two took a lot of goals away from the team,” Rooney said, per Man United’s website.
“I knew I’d have to score. We just knew that we had to work hard and find a new way of playing.”
He flourished without his former strike partners and admitted in May 2010 that he had reached a new level of confidence in front of goal.
“This has been the best goalscoring period of my career,” he said, per Man United’s website.
“You just feel like every time you run out on the pitch, or every time you’ve got the ball near goal, you’re going to score. It’s a feeling every striker strives for.”
He was nearly unstoppable at the start of 2010, a four-goal haul against Hull City prompting a run of scoring in 10 out of 12 games, with a total of 18 goals.
There was the last-minute winner against Manchester City to reach the League Cup final, the goal to beat Aston Villa in the final, United’s Goal of the Season against Arsenal and two goals at AC Milan to seal the Red Devils’ first win at the San Siro.
Never forget how good Wayne Rooney was.