Wayne Rooney's best moments with Manchester United, England and Everton
Last Updated: 10/05/18 5:24pm
As Wayne Rooney agrees a £12m move to MLS outfit DC United, we look back on some of the best moments of his glittering career with Manchester United, Everton and England...
Manchester United debut hat-trick
Rooney's Manchester United career started in the best possible way following his £27m move from Everton in 2004, as he smashed a stunning hat-trick in a 6-2 Champions League win over Fenerbahce.
Expectations were already high at Old Trafford, but few imagined the 18-year-old would produce quite such an explosive debut performance. "I've never seen a better debut and I'm 50," said Sir Alex Ferguson afterwards.
50th England goal
Rooney enjoyed a glittering career with England, winning 119 caps - the most by an outfield player - and scoring a record total of 53 goals between his debut in 2003 and his retirement in 2016.
He had memorable moments in an England shirt - not least his breakout performances at Euro 2004 - but the best of them came in September 2015, when his penalty in a 2-0 win over Switzerland at Wembley made him England's leading goalscorer and cemented his place in the history books.
Hat-trick in the 8-2
Rooney was the inspiration behind the famous 8-2 thrashing of Arsenal in August 2011, scoring the sixth hat-trick of his career as Manchester United clinched one of the most memorable results in their glittering history.
Rooney's first goal that day was his 150th for the club, and he surpassed Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy with his second. "It is always a great feeling to score and to score over 150 for a club like United is great," he said afterwards. "Hopefully there are many more to come."
Ending Arsenal's run
The 8-2 was not the first time Rooney had tormented Arsene Wenger's side in a United shirt. Back in October of 2004, he was instrumental in ending their 49-game unbeaten run at Old Trafford, winning the penalty for Ruud van Nistelrooy's opener and scoring their second goal himself.
It was a memorable way to mark his 19th birthday and another occasion which went down in Old Trafford folklore. For Arsenal, it marked the beginning of a gradual decline.
Manchester United record-breaker
Rooney lost his place in the team in his final season at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho, but the campaign was notable for the moment he became the club's leading goalscorer.
The big moment came with a last-gasp equaliser against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in January 2017. The superbly struck free-kick took him to 250 goals - eclipsing Sir Bobby Charlton's total and securing his legacy.
Scoring from his own half for Everton
Rooney's return to Everton may have come in the twilight of his career but his second spell at Goodison Park featured one of his best moments. Against West Ham in November 2017, he completed a hat-trick with a stunning strike over Joe Hart from inside his own half.
"It's one of, if not the best goal I've ever scored," he said afterwards. "I think I hit it as well as I've ever kicked a football. To make it my third goal, my first hat-trick for Everton, I'm delighted."
Rooney produced another unforgettable moment when Newcastle visited Old Trafford in April 2005. Sir Alex Ferguson's side were trailing to a Darren Ambrose goal midway through the first half when Rooney met Peter Ramage's looping clearance with a stunning right-footed volley.
United went on to win the game 2-1, with Ferguson heaping praise on Rooney after the game. "It was a phenomenal strike," he said. "I was ready to take him off because he had been injured in the first half but he's always such a threat I decided to keep him on. It was absolutely fantastic."
Overhead kick against City
Rooney's stunning overhead kick against Manchester City will be remembered as his greatest Old Trafford moment. The acrobatic finish from Nani's deflected cross gave United a crucial 2-1 win over their rivals on their way to winning the title. In 2012, it was voted the best goal in the history of the Premier League.
Rooney has described it as his "most important" goal for United, while Ferguson ranks it as his best. "As Wayne was making his way towards the box he had to change direction and mobilise himself to hit the ball the way he did," said the former United boss. "It was unbelievable - I think that's the best to be honest."