England’s record goalscorer, Wayne Rooney has retired from football at 35 after being appointed as permanent manager of Derby County on a two-and-a-half-year contract until the summer of 2023, the Championship club said on Friday.
Rooney, one of the finest players of his generation, netted 53 goals in 120 games for his country and scored a record 253 goals for Manchester United.
The 120 games the former England captain appeared in put him second on England’s all-time appearance list behind the 125 of goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
After taking charge on an interim basis in November, overseeing nine games with the second-tier side, Rooney elected to retire from playing in order to focus on managerial duties.
The former Everton, Manchester United, and DC United striker, had been in charge of the EFL Championship club since the departure of Phillip Cocu in November.
Rooney in a statement said;
When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club.
The Stadium, training ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive.
Despite other offers, I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me. To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard, and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone involved in the club and all our fans, my staff, and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.
On his part, Chief executive Stephen Pearce added;
We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Wayne Rooney as our new manager.
Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances, notably the 2-0 home win over Swansea City and the 4-0 victory at Birmingham City.
During that nine-game run we also dramatically improved their defensive record and registered five clean sheets in the process, while in the attacking third we became more effective and ruthless too.
Those foundations have provided a platform for the club to build on in the second half of the season under Wayne’s guidance.
Following the appointment, Rooney decided to retire from playing with immediate effect to concentrate solely on his new role.
The 35-year-old also won a total of 16 major honours at United, including five Premier League titles, three League Cups, one FA Cup, one Champions League, and one FIFA Club World Cup during a glittering stint.
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