The departure of Ruud Van Nistelrooy from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2006 paved the way for me to love Wayne Rooney. The longest I have loved a Manchester United player before now was for 5 years and it was David Beckham. 11 years on (2006 till date) and no one has toppled Wayne Wazza Rooney in my books. Cristiano Ronaldo came in at some point though but his reign at the top of my list was short like leprechauns (thank you Notorious B.I.G for that line, I have always wanted to use it). I was privileged to watch Rooney’s debut for the Red Devils against Fenerbache in 2004 where he bagged a hat-trick and an assist. I wasn’t surprised at his ability on his United debut night because I had been following his progress since his wonder goal for Everton against Arsenal in 2002.
My love for him has not been as a result of his goal scoring exploits but his commitment, desire and passion for both the Three Lions of England and Manchester United. Yes someone will say he tried to force a move out of Old Trafford twice because he wanted more money but that doesn’t make him less of a great player or better put a LEGEND.
Fast forward through 13 years and Wayne Rooney is Manchester United’s all-time top scorer snatching the crown from Sir Bobby Charlton. Rooney equaled Charlton’s record of 249 goals when the Red Devils triumphed 4- 0 over Reading in the FA Cup third round of games. 2 weeks after the Reading game Rooney came off the bench to salvage a draw for Man United with a brilliant free-kick to break Bobby Charlton’s record. Rooney has now scored 250 goals for Manchester United in 546 games and ranked 7th position behind the likes of Paul Scholes, Bill Foulkes, Ryan Giggs and Bobby Charlton in the all-time appearance list for the Red Devils.
Goal record broken, UEFA Champions League , 5 EPL titles, 3 EFL Cups and a host of other football trophies won, Wayne Rooney can quit Manchester United with a sense of accomplishment. He can head to China while I boast that Rooney’s feat happened in my time.
All hail the Manchester United King of Goals.