Wayne Rooney made his final England appearance in the Three Lions’ 3-0 win over the United States last night.
While his historic international career was the hot topic of the week, the 33-year-old did candidly discuss his final days at Manchester United.
Rooney spent 13 years at the Old Trafford club, moving to Everton in 2017 and then D.C United Stateside. While he scored a mammoth 253 goals for the club, it wasn’t without struggle, particularly at the tail-end of his tenure.
He told former teammate Gary Neville of his ’embarrassment’ at gradually becoming a bit-part player at United, having been the talisman for so long.
“There are times when you doubt yourself as a player, and think: “Am I good enough?”, he admitted via Sky Sports.
“The time Jose Mourinho left me out of the Manchester United team. There are moments when you do doubt yourself, I believe I was good enough to get back in the team, but I never really got that opportunity. I came on for one minute in the Europa League final, I was about to come on against Southampton in the League Cup final, and in those moments it was embarrassing.”
Rooney was an unused substitute in that 3-1 win over Southampton, and only managed a minute against Ajax some months later. Despite those triumphs, he knew his time was up in Manchester despite manager Jose Mourinho’s efforts to keep him on-board.
It was getting to a point where I was embarrassed, I thought: “I can’t keep doing this,” as hard as it was to leave Man Utd. In the Southampton game, Mourinho came to me and said: “I want you to lift the trophy.” I was like: “Well, I didn’t even play in the game.” He was persistent with it, and I literally lifted it and moved it on! I just knew… “What was I doing? I need to move on and go somewhere else…”
In the winter of his career, Rooney has just won the MLS player of the month award for October, and has been nominated for overall ‘MVP’.