Wayne Rooney Reveals How Liverpool Influenced His Decision To Join Manchester United

Manchester United Legend Wayne Rooney Scored 10+ Goals In 13 Consecutive Seasons
Manchester United Legend Wayne Rooney Scored 10+ Goals In 13 Consecutive Seasons

Premier League icon Wayne Rooney has explained how Liverpool nudged him toward signing for Manchester United in 2004. As per Rooney — a boyhood Everton fan — Liverpool’s bitter rivalry with both the Toffees and the Red Devils motivated him to move to Old Trafford.

After impressing at Liverpool Schoolboys and Copplehouse Boys’ Club, Rooney joined Everton’s youth academy in 1996. Over the following six years, he progressed through the ranks to earn his senior team contract in 2002. Between 2002 and 2004, Rooney played 77 matches for Everton, scoring 17 times.

Following a blockbuster EURO 2004 campaign with England, Rooney drew interest from many top clubs, including Manchester United and Newcastle United. The Englishman promptly chose Manchester United, and the club agreed to pay Everton a cool £27 million ($34.04 million) for their academy graduate.

Wayne Rooney Says Liverpool Rivalry Motivated Him To Choose Manchester United

On The Overlap’s Stick to Football podcast, Rooney opened up on his decision to join Manchester United in 2004. The ex-England international admitted that the Toffees were in no position to win any major silverware, meaning Liverpool almost always had the bragging rights. Manchester United, meanwhile, were the most dominant team in the Premier League and had the firepower to beat the Anfield outfit. So, Rooney admittedly chose Man Utd as a “way of having a go at Liverpool fans.”

The Red Devils legend said (via Liverpool ECHO):

I was growing up in the nineties watching Manchester United, like in awe of what I was seeing. And obviously being an Everton fan, we weren’t really going to win anything.

So my best way of having a go at Liverpool fans was Man United winning. I grew up watching them. Then the minute I knew Manchester United were interested in signing me, I was like that’s the only place I’m going.”

Rooney’s decision to move to Old Trafford turned out to be a masterstroke, as he went on to become one of the finest players in the club’s history. Between 2004 and 2017, Rooney played 559 games for the club in all competitions, scoring 253 times and providing 139 assists. He won a total of 17 trophies with the Old Trafford side, including five Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League.

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