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Wayne Rooney Reveals He Hated Playing As A Striker For Manchester United

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Wayne Rooney Reveals He Hated Playing As A Striker For Manchester United

Wayne Rooney scored a record 253 goals for Manchester United but has admitted he hated playing as a central striker.

The former England captain took part in a conversation with former teammates Rio Ferdinand and Marcus Rashford as part of the 'Between The Lines' feature on BT Sport.

During the wide-ranging chat, Rooney revealed that he did not enjoy playing as a natural number nine as he preferred being more involved in his team's build-up.

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This confession came despite Rooney scoring 54 times in 93 matches during his two seasons leading the line in 2008/09 and 2009/10, including 34 in the latter campaign.

Image: PA
Image: PA

"Them two seasons (2008-09, 2009-10) were the two seasons I played as a number nine on my own," Rooney said on BT Sport.

"I played there in and out in different games but I played for the whole season in them two years.

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"I actually didn't enjoy the games as much. I've always been a player that wants to get involved in the game and it is something which Marcus will learn over next few years.

"It took me seven or eight years to learn how to play there and to learn to play with your back to goal. It's the hardest position to play. You've got big centre-backs coming through back of you and you're on your own.

"I weren't enjoying it, but it was my best two years of scoring. I remember coming off the pitch and scoring two goals and saying, 'I was awful. I didn't play that well today. I didn't have that many touches of the ball.'"

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In 2009/10, Rooney hit an impressive 26 goals in the Premier League and won the PFA Player of the Year. Only Didier Drogba notched more in the top flight that season, but Rooney wasn't best-pleased.

Ferdinand recalled his long-time teammate asking Sir Alex Ferguson to change his position going into the next campaign.

Ferdinand added: "We spoke when we came back to pre-season. I remember speaking to you and you said, 'I'm going to speak to the manager and say I want to play as a number ten.'

"I was sitting there going, 'But you scored 30-odd goals this season Wazza.' But you weren't enjoying your football and I couldn't get my head around that."

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Rooney did end up moving further back at United, before going on to return to boyhood club Everton in 2017.

After a spell stateside with D.C United, he finished his career at Derby County, who he has just kept in the Championship on the final day after being appointed manager in January.

Topics: Football, Manchester United, Premier League, England, Marcus Rashford, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney

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