Gary Lineker leads tributes to retiring Wayne Rooney after he calls time on 19-year playing career



‘One of our all-time great footballers’: Gary Lineker leads tributes to retiring Wayne Rooney after former England and Manchester United star calls time on 19-year career to take over at Derby permanently

  • Wayne Rooney has signed a two-and-a-half year deal to become Derby boss 
  • The move however brings to an end a spectacular end a 19-year playing career  
  • Rooney is England’s record goalscorer and won numerous title for Man United 
  • He also represented Everton and Gary Lineker led the tributes to the 35-year-old 

Gary Lineker labelled Wayne Rooney one of the all-time great footballers after he called time on his playing career following his permanent appointment as Derby boss.

The 35-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal to take charge of the Rams – currently in the Championship relegation zone – until the summer of 2023. 

But in order to solely focus on the role he has called time on a 19-year period on the pitch, bringing down the curtain on an illustrious career in which he became record goalscorer for the England national team and won numerous honours with Manchester United.

Rooney is Manchester United's all-time top goalscorer

He also leads the scoring charts for England

Gary Lineker led the tributes after Wayne Rooney announced he is retiring from playing

Rooney has signed a two-and-a-half year deal to take over as Derby boss on a permanent basis

Rooney has signed a two-and-a-half year deal to take over as Derby boss on a permanent basis

And former England striker Lineker led the tributes to United’s all-time leading scorer, tweeting: ‘One of our all-time great footballers has retired.

‘It’s never an easy moment for any player but @WayneRooney has enjoyed a truly wonderful career on the field. 

‘Here’s hoping he’s successful off the pitch with @dcfcofficial. Well played and good luck.’

Former England and Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott also commended his ex-international team-mate for his career, saying: ‘In my opinion the greatest striker England’s ever seen #Wazza #HappyRetirement.’

Current Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford also tweeted, saying it was a dream to have played with the 35-year-old.

‘To one of the greatest. It was a dream come true to play alongside you,’ he said. ‘Congrats on the most unbelievable career. The [goat emoji]. Happy Retirement.’

Former clubs Manchester United and Everton also paid tribute, with the Old Trafford side tweeting: ‘A captain. A goalscorer. A legend. And now, a manager. Happy retirement, @WayneRooney, and thank you for the memories.’

The Toffees meanwhile posted: ‘Once a Blue, twice a Blue, always a Blue…Congratulations on an incredible playing career, @WayneRooney.

‘We wish you nothing but the best of luck in management.’

Rooney’s ex-club in the MLS, DC United, simply tweeted: ‘Congrats, @WayneRooney’, while current employers Derby said: ‘Captain. Leader. The greatest. @WayneRooney, the manager.’

England’s official Twitter account tweeted: ‘A #ThreeLions legend. Congratulations on a fantastic playing career, @WayneRooney! Wishing you all the best in management.’

The Premier’s League account followed in similar vein, adding: ‘Congratulations on a magnificent playing career @WayneRooney. All the best in management.’

Admiring fans also thanked the former England and United skipper for his contributions to the game.

One supporter wrote: ‘This is more than something astonishing… Wayne Rooney is a genius player I don’t have words to describe him anymore he’s more than just a legend.’

Another added: ‘Wayne Rooney will go down as one of the greatest players of all time, and one of my favourites. 

‘I remember watching his United debut against Fenerbache and just sitting in awe. 

‘What a talent and what a career. Enjoy your retirement Wayne!’ 

Another fan was just as effusive in his praise, writing: ‘Wayne Rooney is the best English footballer I have actually watched. 

‘Legend of this game no doubt. I just understand how old I become as he retires now. He was my hero in Euro 2004. Brilliant career. Good Luck in your managerial career.’

One supporter praised him as being the standout player for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, adding: ‘Hard to put into words just how good @WayneRooney  was. 

‘The stats speak for themselves, but at United’s peak under SAF he was *the* standout player. Sacrificed much of his game for the team yet still put in the numbers he did. Happy retirement.’

Another stated what many felt, writing: ‘Wayne Rooney is the most underrated player in Premier League history and nothing will ever change my mind,’ while another said: ‘Wayne Rooney retiring has actually got me so emotional man. My favourite Man Utd player ever. Feels like just yesterday I was watching him every week in his prime.’



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