Wayne Mark Rooney (born 24th October 1985 in Liverpool) is an English footballer who currently plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team. He is seen as one of the most exciting prospects of the modern game, his transfer fee from Everton still stands as the highest ever paid for a teenager. He normally played as a second striker to Ruud van Nistelrooy for his club team before van Nistelrooy's move to Real Madrid, although during 2005-06, he showed his versatility as a player by shifting to the midfield and playing on both flanks. He wears the number 8 shirt for Manchester United and the number 9 shirt for the English national team.
Rooney was brought up in an urban area of eastern Liverpool called Croxteth, where he and his two brothers attended the local De La Salle Catholic School. Rooney grew up supporting Everton and his childhood hero was Duncan Ferguson, and wore a T-shirt reading "Once a blue, Always a blue". However, he would end up playing just two seasons with Everton before demanding, and then executing, a transfer. This has left him on unfavourable terms with Everton fans, and this showed when he returned to Goodison Park and was booed severely.
Rooney has been under an intense media spotlight since first arriving on the scene in 2002, particularly coming to the public's notice on 19 October 2002 when he scored a memorable goal against title-holders Arsenal, ending their 30-match unbeaten run. He was only 16 years old when he scored the goal, making him the youngest ever goal scorer in the Premiership at the time. Before turning 17 and becoming eligible for a professional contract, he was playing for £80 a week and living with his family on a council estate. His salary has since been increased several times and Rooney now earns an estimated £51,755 a week. Following intense media coverage of Rooney at Euro 2004, Everton claimed that they would not transfer his contract for less than £50 million. The club offered Rooney a new contract for £12,000 a week for three years. This, however, was turned down by Rooney's agent on the 27 August 2004, leaving Manchester United and Newcastle United to compete for his signature. The Times newspaper reported that Newcastle were close to signing the young star for £18.5 million, a fact later confirmed by Rooney's agent. Manchester United, however, were the successful club in signing the young talent. Rooney handed in a transfer request to Everton and on 31 August 2004, Rooney signed for Manchester United after a deal worth around £31 million (£49 million including wages) was agreed. The deal was concluded just hours before the transfer deadline.
Rooney made his debut for Manchester United on 28 September 2004 in the UEFA Champions League against Fenerbahçe, scoring a hat-trick and also an assist (the match finished in a 6-2 win for United). He was also a member of the United side defeated in the 2005 FA Cup Final by Arsenal. He captained Manchester United for the first time in a home Champions League match against Copenhagen on 17 October 2006, becoming probably the youngest captain in the clubs' history. On 26 November 2006 he signed a two-year extension to his contract, which will keep him at Old Trafford until at least 2012.
Rooney has been a prolific goal scorer for Manchester United and Everton, matching the level of goals scored by other strikers such as Ruud van Nistelrooy. During the first half of the 2006-7 season, Rooney went 10 games without a goal before scoring a hat-trick against Bolton. There was speculation about his fitness and confidence on the pitch, as he seemed less active than he usually is and his presence on the field was somewhat overshadowed by the brilliant form of Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo. Nevertheless, as of February 2007 he was the top English goal scorer in the Premiership, and had received significantly fewer bookings than in previous seasons. By the end of April, Rooney had scored 23 goals for his team in all competitions, taking him ahead of teammate Cristiano Ronaldo in goals scored in all competitions this season. He has also figured prominently in recent England international matches, after having become the youngest ever player to play for England, in a friendly against Australia, on 12 February 2003, aged 17 years, 111 days. This record has since been surpassed by Theo Walcott, who came off the bench to play in England's friendly against Hungary on 30 May 2006.
His reputation as one of the world's most exciting young players was further enhanced by his highly regarded performances for England at Euro 2004 in Portugal. At the tournament Rooney became the youngest player ever to score in the UEFA European Football Championships, when on 17 June 2004 he scored twice against Switzerland. In his spare time, Wayne likes to play video games, his favourite game is FIFA 07, which he plays with Man United teammates Wes Brown, John O'Shea and Rio Ferdinand.