It was a clash of the Titans on 19th October 2002; Everton battled it out with Arsenal. Arsenal was the reigning champion with an undefeated 30 match record, bearing down, like a foreboding death wish, on the Evertons. The deciding moment had come “Who will triumph?” was the question in everybody’s mind. In strode a man in blue, coming off the bench as a last minute substitute. He struck; he scored; he broke Arsenal’s record. A legend was born and his name, soon to be known by every savant of the football game- Wayne Rooney.
He soon became, at the age of 16, the youngest goal scorer to have graced the Premier League history. Come December of that year and he would be adjudged 2002’s BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. He signed his first professional contract with Everton soon after and went on to score many more goals and win many more games for the club. The year 2004 saw an even more fortunate turn in Wayne Rooney profile and career graph. He was caught in a bidding war between Premier League heavyweights such as Manchester United and Newcastle United, with the former winning by a £5.6 million margin.
Rooney signed with the club for a £25.6 million deal, which, to date, is considered as the highest amount to be paid for a player under twenty years of age. Rooney started with a bang in the United, amassing a slew of goals and titles to boot. He was named the Premier League Player of the Month, a record five times. Other feathers on his illustrious cap included FWA Footballer of the Year, ‘Goal of the Season’ award and PFA Players’ Player of the Year. He was the blue eyed boy of the Manchester United and they never failed to put him on a pedestal. Even on the day of his worst performance, all they could ever talk about was how he is the best and how he always brings his A-game to the floor. In the past few years that he played for the Red Devils, he has attained nothing short of a cult status.
Not sure as to whether it is the effect of the collective anticipation of his success implanted on him or the fact that all the recent injuries he has sustained have finally caught up him, but whatever the case, Rooney is proving to the world that he in fact a mortal, just like the rest of us.
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