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Last month was the 14th anniversary of Wayne Rooney marking his debut for Manchester United with a hat-trick against Fenerbahçe in the Champions League. But today is the 16th anniversary of when he scored for the first time in the Premier League.
David Moyes' Everton were 1-1 with Arsène Wenger's Arsenal, who were enjoying a 30-match unbeaten run, when a 16-year-old Rooney showed the early signs of the world-class talent he would become.
The former Manchester United star brought the ball under his control and lashed out an unbelievable 25-yard shot that beat David Seaman with ease.
It's still a spine-chilling moment to this date (check it out again in the video below).
"Gravesen forward. Rooney. Instant control. And he curls it... Oh a brilliant goal! Brilliant goal! Remember the name! Wayne Rooney," Clive Tyldesley said on commentary (via the Liverpool Echo).
It says everything that United and England's all-time record scorer even stunned Wenger with what he did on the pitch.
"He's supposed to be 16," Wenger said at the time (via the Japan Times). "He is a natural football player. Even if you were playing on the beach -- four against four you would see that. He isn't someone who just stands in the penalty area and waits to score.
"I think he could also play anywhere. You could put him on the wing, you could put him in the centre, you can put him behind the striker. He can dribble and I love strikers who can dribble.
"Michael Owen is a complete striker but I didn't see him at 16. At that age, Rooney is already a complete footballer. The guy can play."
The rest is history now.
Rooney left Everton in the summer for DC United and is now making his presence felt in the MLS.
He recently showed how important he has been for DC when he scored an outstanding 35-yard free-kick against Toronto FC this week.
The DC star has recently talked about his time at United and revealed how important five players were in the dressing room for Sir Alex Ferguson.
ON THIS DAY: In 2002, a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney came off the bench to score his first Premier League goal, a 90th minute winner vs. Arsenal.- Squawka Football (@Squawka) 19 October 2018
He went on to score a further 207. :soccer: pic.twitter.com/Ui4lG3D6rI
Where does Rooney rank in the all-time Premier League players in history?
Let us know in the comments.
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