Rare Footage Of 10-Year-Old Wayne Rooney Shows His Generational Talent
A video of a schoolboy Wayne Rooney scoring an absolute wonder-goal at Anfield is a sensational reminder of the striker's generational talent.
Rooney retired from playing on Friday to concentrate on managing Derby County full-time, causing many to recall what incredible gifts Wazza had when he burst on to the scene as a teenager.
But, six years before his stunning debut goal for Everton against Arsenal, a 10-year-old Rooney was scoring absolute worldies that showcased his supreme ball skills, strength and finishing ability.
But the size of the goals compared to the players give it away: this is clearly a youth game.
Although he'd become an Everton hero, Rooney actually began playing for Liverpool Schoolboys. He once scored a then record 72 goals in one season for the junior Reds.
In this video, Rooney is instantly recognisable: the stocky, short-haired youngster latching on to an opponent's mistake to gain possession. The youthful Wazza then terrorises three defenders as he runs at them, before lashing the ball home with a rocket from outside the box.
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"Amazing that you can see his game play and running with the ball stayed the same," commented one fan on Instagram. "The same technique - goes to show coaching too much can ruin a player. Let the express themselves with the ball."
That goal against Arsenal strapped a rocket to Rooney's career but he came to worldwide attention at Euro 2004. Still just 18 years old, the England striker scored four goals in the tournament before picking up an injury against Portugal in the quarter-finals.
That summer, he joined Man United for £25.6 million - a then world-record fee for a teenager. Rooney would go on to become the club's all-time top scorer, netting 253 goals and winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League among other honours.
He'd also retire as England's all-time top scorer with 53 goals. So not at all bad for a player some controversially insist never actually fulfilled his potential.
But one thing all football fans can agree on was that huge potential was there from the start - as you can see from watching Rooney absolutely destroying defences as a schoolboy.
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