England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney will make his debut for second-tier Derby against Barnsley on Thursday, the club’s manager Phillip Cocu confirmed.
Rooney, 34, joined Derby as a player-coach from MLS side DC United but has been ineligible to play for his new side until January.
“If a player with the qualities, career and the experience of Rooney (is available) you have to be very happy and glad he is here,” said Cocu after Monday’s 2-1 home win over Charlton in the Championship.
“He’s fit, he can start but he will need a few games. Expectation will be high when he starts playing but we have to give him a few games to build up his minutes and get in the team.
“So maybe not perfect from the start but it’s important he will get in the team as soon as possible so we get a certain shape in our team.”
Rooney’s debut can’t come soon enough for Derby.
Their win on Monday moved them into 17th place in English football’s second-tier.
However, they are still nine points shy of the play-off spots and 21 behind the two automatic promotion places.
On Monday, teenage midfielder Jason Knight scored his first goals in professional football to give Derby the three points, ending a run of seven games without a win.
Victory came despite the Rams playing most of the match a man down after Krystian Bielik was sent off for a crude challenge on Conor Gallagher.
Knight put Derby ahead in the 10th minute at Pride Park when he forced the ball in at the back post only for Bielik to see red soon afterwards.
But 10-man Derby still doubled their lead 13 minutes from time when Knight scored his second following a cross from Max Bird.
Charlton ensured a nervous finish for the home side when the south London club pulled a goal back seven minutes from time thanks to Lyle Taylor’s successful penalty, awarded after Curtis Davies brought down Gallagher in the box.
Wayne Rooney believes he could still make an impact in the Premier League as the former Manchester United star targets a return to the top-flight with Derby.
Rooney will resume his career in England next month after joining second-tier Derby as player-coach from MLS side DC United.
The 34-year-old striker will work as an assistant to Rams boss Phillip Coco, with promotion back to the top flight the aim as he tries to prove he can still compete with the sport’s elite even in the twilight of his career.
“I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that,” Rooney was quoted as saying in the British media on Sunday.
“Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them.
“Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40.
“It’s important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game.
“Sometimes that gets lost, because you don’t score as many goals or whatever. Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League.
“The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully, we can get there with them.”
Former England captain Rooney, whose tally of 208 Premier League goals is bettered only by Alan Shearer, went to America in June last year after leaving first club Everton, whom he re-joined from United following a 13-year stay at Old Trafford.
Derby are 16th in the Championship, nine points off the play-off places after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Millwall.
Former England captain Wayne Rooney is to leave Washington-based DC United after agreeing on a deal to become player-coach of Championship side Derby County, the clubs announced on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old — the record goalscorer for both his country and Manchester United — signed an initial 18-month contract with the ambitious second-tier side, who under Rooney’s former England team-mate Frank Lampard reached the play-off final last season.
The high-profile signing has already paid off for the club.
“On the back of Wayne joining the club, we have just been offered a record-breaking sponsorship deal with our principal shirt sponsor,” said owner Mel Morris.
Derby, two-time English champions back in the 1970s, have been rewarded for being quick off the mark when rumours surfaced that Colleen, Rooney’s wife and mother of their three children, was unhappy in the United States and wanted to return home.
Rooney, who is presently working towards securing his coaching qualifications, will work under former PSV Eindhoven boss Phillip Cocu.
“I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with,” Rooney told the club website.
“I am looking forward to joining Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff, and the first-team squad from the start of January.
“I am sure I can make a big contribution and can’t wait to meet everyone, especially the supporters.
“I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County working with both the first team and academy.
“I must also take this opportunity to thank DC United, their owners, executives and supporters who have been superb to work with.
“I want them to know that I will give my all in support of our push for the play-offs.”
‘Confidence or swag’
Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, co-chairmen of DC United, praised Rooney for his contribution to the franchise — he has scored 23 times in 42 appearances since he joined from Everton on a three-year contract last year.
“After speaking to Wayne and understanding his difficult situation of being so far away from his family, we have accepted that this is the best decision for all parties,” they told the Derby website.
“Wayne is an exceptional leader and one of the most iconic players to play the game, so we look forward to his continued contributions to the team this season.”
Morris said Rooney’s arrival would bolster the reputation of the club.
“To have Wayne Rooney as a player, and equally as an aspiring coach, is incredible and I can only imagine the buzz this will generate amongst our supporters at home and internationally,” said Morris.
Cocu, who began his spell as manager with a 2-1 win over Huddersfield on Monday, said Rooney’s experience would be a massive boost to the club as they seek to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2008.
“It is an exciting prospect for him to be joining Derby County and he can bring so much to this squad, both on and off the pitch,” said Cocu.
“To have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us.
“The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players from the first team right through to the youngsters in the academy.”
Morris will be hoping Rooney wields a similar influence that he has done at DC United as attested to by his team-mate Steve Birnbaum.
“He’s changed everything, he’s changed the culture of the club,” Birnbaum told the Daily Telegraph.
“The work ethic he puts in during practice and you guys see it in the games. We have this sort of confidence or swag going into games because of him.”
Wayne Rooney stressed Tuesday that his future remains in Major League Soccer amid new suggestions his family are unsettled in Washington and want him to return to England before his current contract expires.
The former England and Manchester United forward bristled when asked about stories circulating in England that wife Coleen has demanded he quits North America when his current DC United contract expires at the end of 2021.
Rooney, in Orlando ahead of Wednesday’s MLS All-Star match against Atletico Madrid, says he has started work on his coaching badges and admits he wants to follow the likes of new Chelsea coach Frank Lampard and make the transition from player to manager.
The striker signed a three-and-a-half year deal last summer following his move from Everton.
But when asked by AFP if his wife has put down demands for him to quit football for the sake of his family, Rooney snapped: “Is that what was in the media? That my wife has got her own way?
“Those reports are a bit far fetched. I’m concentrating on playing for DC United and trying to get them into the playoffs.
“I haven’t thought about anything beyond that.
“I am a bit tired as I left on Tuesday morning at 4:00 am to come to Orlando but I feel in good shape.”
Rooney has enjoyed his spell in MLS, scoring 23 goals in 42 appearances.
At the age of 33, however, the Liverpool-born star knows his playing career won’t last forever.
“Coaching is something which I have thought about for a long time,” Rooney said.
“I’m in the process now of going through my badges. It would be a shame for me to finish playing and just walk away from the game.
“I have a desire to go into management and hopefully the right opportunity will come up.”
Rooney will team with fellow European star Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Carlos Vela, the Mexcian forward and current MLS goals leader, against an Atletico side boasting the likes of Spanish international Diego Costa and Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix.
LA Galaxy forward Ibrahimovich, 37, gave the impression of someone who would rather be resting than taking part in an exhibition game in the searing Florida heat and humidity.
The Swede, however, undoubtedly loves the limelight, telling AFP: “It’s a game which has to be played. It’s important for MLS. This is their global window to play against a fantastic team like Atletico, but I just hope no one gets injured.
“All of our players have important games to come in our own season. We’re over halfway through now.
“I’m enjoying it in MLS though. I just how consider how my body feels. If I feel good, I’ll continue to play.
“What do I want to do after I finish playing? I don’t know. My whole life has been football.”
English star striker Wayne Rooney played only 18 minutes Saturday after suffering a lower right leg injury in DC United’s 1-0 pre-season victory over Bethlehem Steel at Clearwater, Florida.
Rooney, whose mid-season arrival last year helped lift United from the Major League Soccer basement into a playoff spot, was removed as a precaution and is listed as day-to-day, according to the club in a league website posting.
Rooney said the knock he received on his lower right shin similar to a few injuries he had suffered before, the Washington Post reported.
Rooney is expected to be fit in time for Thursday’s pre-season matchup against new MLS expansion club FC Cincinnati, according to DC United, which dubbed the setback a minor knock and said the former England star was removed as a precaution.
Shinya Kadono, an unsigned prospect, scored the lone goal in the second half for United against the second-level US club.
Former England and Manchester United star Wayne Rooney was arrested last month for being drunk and swearing in public and paid a $25 fine Friday, according to multiple reports Sunday.
Court records obtained by Washington ABC 7 News and The Athletic showed that Rooney was arrested in Loudon County, Virginia, on December 16 for cursing and intoxication, a misdemeanour for which he was released from custody on his own recognizance before paying the fine and court costs on Friday.
Rooney was arrested by the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority at Dulles International Airport, which is located in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington.
The former England captain apparently was at the airport after a trip back from Saudi Arabia. He posted a photo of himself on December 14 from Riyadh at an event.
Rooney is serving a two-year UK drink driving ban stemming from a September 2017 arrest in England.
The 33-year-old forward came to the US capital last July, signing with DC United and taking the last-place Major League Soccer club into the playoffs in his first half-season with the squad.
Rooney was the centrepiece of United’s marketing campaign as the team opened a new stadium, the English star saying upon his arrival he looked forward to the challenge and enjoyed the relative anonymity afforded by suburban life in America.
Gareth Southgate defended the decision to honour Wayne Rooney by fielding England’s top international goalscorer in a friendly against the USA at Wembley next week.
The Football Association announced on Sunday that Rooney would be awarded his 120th cap as a tribute to his England career which appeared to have come to an end when he retired from international football in August 2017.
That decision has been criticised in the English media with a number of exciting young prospects needing more game time to be tested at the international level and the USA game seen as preparation for what could be a crucial Nations League decider against Croatia four days later.
“I am still able to look to the future in terms of the squad we have picked,” insisted Southgate.
“But also I have talked a lot to the players about the importance of the shirt, the history of the shirt, honouring the former players, and I think all the players would respect that Wayne’s contribution deserves the best possible send-off.
“I understand that has caused debate but for me it is a small way of appreciating what he has given to his country.”
Rooney, 33, scored 53 goals in his previous 119 caps. However, he failed to carry his country to the level of success they enjoyed under Southgate at the World Cup this year by reaching the semi-finals.
The former Manchester United captain has starred for DC United since moving to Major League Soccer in June.
But Southgate confirmed that Rooney wouldn’t start the match or wear the number 10 shirt, but could be handed the captain’s armband as a substitute.
“He won’t wear number 10 because he won’t start the game,” added Southgate.
“When he came on in his last game, Jordan Henderson ran over and gave him the armband. I guess that it will depend on the circumstances of the game and the players who are out there but I have no issue with that.”
Wilson called up
Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson is rewarded for his fine start to the campaign with a first England call-up among a bumper 28-man squad named on Thursday.
No English player has scored more than Wilson’s six Premier League goals so far this season.
“He’s a threat in terms of running in behind defences. He’s been involved with either scoring or assists, with a high number of goals this season, so it’s a good opportunity for us to have a look at him and see how he fits into what we do,” said Southgate.
After beating Spain 3-2 in Seville last month, England could progress to the semi-finals of the inaugural Nations League with a victory over Croatia if Spain fail to win in Zagreb on November 15.
Squad in full:
Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (DC United/USA), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).
Wayne Rooney is in line to come out of England retirement for a one-off appearance against the United States in an international friendly at Wembley later this month, Britain’s Sun tabloid reported.
Rooney, a record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England, has not played international football for nearly two years.
But the 33-year-old, now based in the United States where he plays for Major League Soccer side DC United in Washington, is set to wear the Three Lions shirt once again for the Wembley fixture on November 15.
It has also been reported that the match will raise money for Rooney’s charitable foundation.
An official announcement by the Football Association, England’s governing body, confirming Rooney’s recall is expected in the next few days
Former Everton and United forward Rooney scored 53 goals for England prior to announcing his retirement from international football in August 2017.
He has scored 12 times for DC United since he joined them after the end of the last English season, following a second spell at boyhood club Everton, and helped them climb from the bottom of the league ladder to the playoffs.
Former England captain Wayne Rooney grabbed his first goal for DC United but also suffered a broken nose in a 2-1 victory over Colorado Rapids in the MLS.
Rooney, 32, scored the opening goal against ex-Manchester United team-mate Tim Howard but was left bloodied after a clash of heads with Colorado defender Axel Sjoberg in stoppage time.
“Delighted to score my first goal for DC United,” Rooney tweeted after his team won for just the fourth time in 18 matches this season. Two of those victories have come since Rooney made his debut on July 14.
The striker, England’s all-time record goalscorer, said he required five stitches after breaking his nose in the collision with Sjoberg.
Rooney, who played for boyhood club Everton last season following his return from Old Trafford, signed a three-and-a-half year deal with DC United worth $13 million earlier this month.