Ten years on from his wonder goal against Arsenal, the young scamp that turned so many heads in British football has developed into a marmite player that splits opinion throughout the footballing world.
Wayne Rooney has graced the Premier League for a decade now and fans and pundits alike in the betting world have been considering whether or not the Liverpudlian has fulfilled his early potential.
Of course he has.
Rooney, like him or loathe him, has been a consistent wonder to watch over the past 10 seasons. That goal against Arsenal when he was just a spotty youth of 16 in an oversized Everton shirt was just the start of things to come. A handful of goals for his boyhood club was enough for Sir Alex Ferguson to invest a reported £20m in the striker and that hat-trick debut for Manchester United is something very few Reds fans will ever forget.
People ask how you gage success and trophies and goals usually come pretty high up. Fast forward to thePremier League 2012-13 and Rooney has lifted four league titles and two FA Cups with United, plus the 2007/08 Champions League crown.
His 200 club goals are no mean feat for a player who’s best position is widely regarded as behind the main striker, and 32 in 78 England appearances is a record very few can beat.
Compared to others of his generation, neither Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi of Argentina have managed to lift a major trophy for their respective countries so criticism that Rooney has not yet done it for England can be dismissed.
Indeed, if you want to know just how well Rooney’s career has gone so far then ask an average United fan. He may have had his scrapes in the past, but Rooney’s passion and drive to play for the team has endeared himself to the Old Trafford faithful over the years – certainly punters logging onto http://betting.betfair.com/football/leedixon/lee-dixon-goals-look-a-certainty-as-united-go-to-chelsea-261012-11.html agree.
He is able to play in various striking combinations with a number of team-mates and this all-round quality proves Rooney has fulfilled the trust Sir Alex put in him all those years ago.