Ex-D.C. United Striker Wayne Rooney Retires, Takes Managerial Role with Derby

Wayne Rooney. Photo by Tony Quinn/ISI/REX/Shutterstock

Wayne Rooney has decided to put an end to his playing career. The 35-year-old star announced his decision on Friday while also confirming he’ll become a manager for Derby County on a full-time basis.

Rooney joined Derby as a player/coach in January 2020 following his two-season stint in the MLS with D.C. United. He was promoted to an interim-manager role in November when the English club parted ways with Phillip Cocu.

“I will miss playing, of course, but I can now get excited about the future and my role as a manager,” said Rooney.

“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,” he added.

Since arriving at Derby, Rooney made 35 appearances for the Championship side. He scored seven goals and added three assists.

As an interim manager, Rooney had three wins and four draws in his first eight games. However, he lost the last three and is facing a tough task to get the team back on the winning path.

Wayne Rooney’s professional career started with Everton, where he became a phenom and lauded as one of the biggest talents in English soccer. Manchester United took notice and made him the world’s most expensive teenager in 2004.

Rooney stayed at Old Trafford for 13 years, winning every trophy imaginable, including five Premier League titles and one from the UEFA Champions League. He played a total of 559 games for Man Utd, scoring club-record 253 goals.

In 2017, Rooney re-joined Everton but only spent 18 months with the club before deciding to come to the United States.  He played 52 games with D.C., scoring 25 goals and earning one MLS All-Star nod.