Rooney the Golden Boy
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
England international Wayne Rooney has won the title of 'European Golden Boy'.England international Wayne Rooney has pipped Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to the title of 'European Golden Boy'.
The award is handed out by Italian newspaper Tuttosport, who canvass opinion from journalists across the continent.
All players under the age of 21 are eligible for the prize and Rooney's exploits at Euro 2004 appear to have held sway with the voters.
Rooney was the key figure in England's run to the quarter finals of the competition but an injury against the hosts dented the team's chances of advancing further.
He later completed a big-money move from Everton to Old Trafford and has made a sound start to his career with The Red Devils.
The teenager's United colleague Ronaldo finished second in the poll, with Atletico Madrid ace Fernando Torres third and Chelsea winger Arjen Robben in fourth.
Rooney was overjoyed to collect the prize and has offered his gratitude to his team-mates for their help in him securing the mantle of 'European Golden Boy'.
"There were a lot of great players close to winning this trophy so to have come first is a great honour, although a lot of credit must go to my team-mates," said Rooney.
"Without their support I would not have been in a position to win."
The young striker also eulogised over the ability of Ronaldo, citing the Portugal international as crucial to United's long-term future.
He added: "I see Cristiano every day on the training ground and it is only when you play and train with players every day that you can truly appreciate how good they are.
"Cristiano has fantastic ability, he is very skilful but also very quick.
"I am sure he will continue to be a big player for us for years to come."
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