How a leg­end was built

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

Five no­ta­bles on Manchester United and Eng­land all-time lead­ing scorer Wayne Rooney, who re­turned to his pre­vi­ous club Ever­ton on Sun­day:

Rooney was a child prodigy of English soc­cer, burst­ing onto the with Ever­ton as a 16-year-old in 2002. Two years later he was the out­stand­ing tal­ent for Eng­land at Euro 2004, scor­ing four goals in the group matches as it pro­gressed to the quar­ter­fi­nals. How­ever, his and his coun­try’s chances of fur­ther progress dis­ap­peared when he broke a bone in his foot in the quar­ter­fi­nal and Eng­land went on to lose on penal­ties. Much was made of Rooney’s stay­ing up late and get­ting drunk in the Eng­land team ho­tel the night af­ter the World Cup qual­i­fier with Scot­land last Novem­ber, but there have never been any doubt about his pas­sion for his coun­try. This was il­lus­trated early on when as a teenager he re­buked the Repub­lic of Ire­land’s ad­vances as he qual­i­fied for it through a grand­mother. “When I was at Ever­ton (in 2001) Lee Cars­ley asked me about it on be­half of Mick McCarthy, but it never crossed my mind,” he re­vealed in 2015. “I have Ir­ish grand­par­ents, so if they wanted to play for Ire­land I’m sure they could have, but it was never some­thing I thought about. I am English through and through.”

Teenage sen­sa­tion ‘English through and through’ Record man

His pow­ers may be on the wane,

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