Ranking the career-defining moments of Wayne Rooney
Former England international Wayne Rooney is undoubtedly one of the greatest strikers to have ever been produced by the nation. Having made a name for himself playing at Manchester United, he scripted numerous records in the Premier League. As he enjoys his current stint with DC United in USA's Major League Soccer (MLS), let us have a look at his career-defining moments.
The 16-year-old kid who sank Arsenal
As he made his senior club debut with Everton, it was in 2002, against Arsenal, where his curling effort saw the ball entering the goal off the crossbar. The goal is still afresh in the memories of most EPL fans and is remembered for a special cause, as it ended Arsenal's 30-game unbeaten run. Consequently, it was the beginning of Rooney's era.
Instant impact on international tournament debut for England
While he had made his England debut in 2003, it was in 2004 he rose to prominence during the UEFA Euro, where he had then become the youngest goal-scorer of the tournament. He led England to the quarters, as an injury to him saw England losing to Portugal on penalties. As he was named in UEFA's Team of the Tournament, he earned global recognition.
Hat-trick on UEFA Champions League debut
Ever since making his debut, Rooney had a knack of making records. The same was the case when he made his UEFA Champions League debut for United, as he pummelled three goals against Fenerbahce to become the youngest player to score a UCL hat-trick. It was owing to this performance he was reckoned to be a major force among European footballers.
The bicycle kick that shocked the world
When it comes to the best goals of Rooney, the one against Manchester City in 2011 has to be the greatest of them all. The iconic bicycle kick is arguably the most breath-taking and most replayed EPL goals ever, as United went on to win 2-1 at Old Trafford. It is this goal that redefined Rooney as one of the greatest EPL players.
Becomes all-time United great by surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton
Undoubtedly, the greatest career-defining moment of Rooney has to be in 2017, when a free-kick goal against Stoke City made him an all-time United great. The goal allowed him to breeze past Sir Bobby Charlton's record of 249 club goals, while he went on to finish on 253 goals for United. "He deserves his place in the history books," Charlton had said then.