Wayne Rooney tried to make the announcement that he was ended his playing career low-key by announcing it at the same time as he was confirmed as Derby County manager on a full-time basis, but tributes to the former England and Manchester United captain still poured in on social media.
Rooney, 35, is the record goal scorer for the England men’s national team with 53 goals and his haul of 120 caps is more than any other outfield player, so there were plenty of highlights from his international career for the English Football Association to share.
A #ThreeLions legend. Congratulations on a fantastic playing career, @WayneRooney!
Wishing you all the best in management 👊 pic.twitter.com/5vXyBFbJqr
— England (@England) January 15, 2021
Rooney is also United’s record goal scorer with 253 goals scored between 2004 and 2017. Over the course of those 13 years at Old Trafford he won five Premier League titles as well as the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup among his haul of 16 trophies.
Quite the #PL career…
👕 491 appearances
⚽️ 208 goals
🅰️ 103 assists
🏆 5 titles
🥇 1 Player of the Season pic.twitter.com/SVsFjh95eW
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 15, 2021
🔴 Wayne Rooney ends his illustrious playing career…
Thanks for the memories, @WayneRooney! 👋#UCL | @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/CXOne1vKng
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) January 15, 2021
And now, 𝗮 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗿.
Happy retirement, @WayneRooney – thank you for the memories ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZGxe1xr3tR
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2021
Rooney’s time at United came in between two spells at Everton, and after his second stint at his beloved boyhood club he had a brief but memorable spell in Major League Soccer with DC United.
💙 | Once a Blue, twice a Blue, always a Blue…
Congratulations on an incredible playing career, @WayneRooney. We wish you nothing but the best of luck in management. 👏
— Everton (@Everton) January 15, 2021
Congrats, @WayneRooney 🖤❤️ https://t.co/xVZXOVhngv
— dcunited (@dcunited) January 15, 2021
Marcus Rashford was one of the first to congratulate his former England and United teammate on a fabulous career.
To one of the greatest. It was a dream come true to play alongside you. Congrats on the most unbelievable career. The 🐐 Happy Retirement @WayneRooney ♥️ pic.twitter.com/9l1QCU4S4O
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) January 15, 2021
While Rio Ferdinand posted a comprehensive tribute video to “Wazza,” although he couldn’t resist reminding him of the time Rooney forgot to “@” him with a private message.
The @WayneRooney Retirement / Appreciation Post!
▪️Cabinet full of Trophies
Good Luck with your new chapter Wazza ❤️
P.s. Will u pick me up in the morning pal….?#Rooney pic.twitter.com/qeweWd1kvy
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) January 15, 2021
From one former England skipper to another, Gary Lineker also lavished Rooney with praise.
One of our all-time great footballers has retired. It’s never an easy moment for any player but @WayneRooney has enjoyed a truly wonderful career on the field. Here’s hoping he’s successful off the pitch with @dcfcofficial. Well played and good luck. 👍🏻
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) January 15, 2021
For those of a certain age, Rooney hanging up his boots is a stark reminder of the inexorable passage of time…
Every member of England’s Euro 2004 squad has now retired.
The Golden Generation ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/6odyAf8B6y
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 15, 2021
… while one throwback clip reminds us that there is a whole generation that grew up inspired by him.
Throwback to when this mascot realized he was standing next to Wayne Rooney 😲
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 15, 2021
As he embarks on his new life as a manager, we mustn’t forget what a dynamo of a player he was at his peak, and even occasionally in his later years. And boy, he sure did love a long-range goal.
This play sums up Wayne Rooney perfectly.
One of a kind 👊 pic.twitter.com/QNbHNfWchu
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 15, 2021
⚽️ | With 57% of the public vote, @WayneRooney’s strike from inside his own half against West Ham is named the @Carling Goal of the Season. #TheDixies pic.twitter.com/EkdNfjhjxm
— Everton (@Everton) May 1, 2018
😱😱😱@WayneRooney scored this spectacular effort v West Ham in 2014… pic.twitter.com/fQSms0kA1H
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 10, 2018
WAYNE R😱😱NEY! #SCtop10
— ESPN (@espn) June 27, 2019