Rooney: "I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that. Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them"
Sunday 15 December 2019 11:03, UK
Wayne Rooney is convinced he is still good enough to play Premier League football.
Rooney recently joined Derby County from MLS team DC United, with his 18-month contract at Pride Park officially beginning in January.
The 34-year-old will be a player-coach with the Rams - who he watched lose 1-0 at home to Millwall in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday - and has admitted he would like to move into management one day.
But Rooney still has ambitions to play in the Premier League, with his second spell at Everton lasting less than a year following his return to Goodison Park in July 2017 following 13 years spent at Manchester United.
"I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that," he said.
"Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them.
"Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40.
"It's important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game.
"Sometimes that gets lost, because you don't score as many goals or whatever. Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League.
"The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully we can get there with them."
The former England captain is the second-highest goalscorer in Premier League history, with his 208 goals ranking him behind only Alan Shearer, who scored 260 goals in the top division.
Wayne Rooney wants to join the growing group of young English managers when his playing days are over, rather than work in punditry.
The former England captain will be a couple of months shy of his 35th birthday when his 18-month contract at Derby - which begins at the start of next month - expires.
Fellow former England internationals Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker are among those to recently land managerial jobs at club level, while John Terry is on the coaching staff at Aston Villa.
He said: "I think players nowadays, when they have finished playing have enough money that they don't need to do anything, but obviously they can go into TV and earn good money doing that.
"However, I think with Steven, Frank, Scott Parker, John Terry all getting involved, it's great to see and it's always something I've wanted to do when I stop playing. It's great for me to see them working and doing so well."