Watch: Wayne Rooney Scores Amazing Goal In Everton Return
Wayne Rooney marked his return to childhood club Everton on Thursday by scoring a stellar goal in an exhibition game in Tanzania.
Wayne Rooney Everton Goal
The 31-year-old forward netted a spectacular goal 34 minutes into the English club’s first pre-season tour game, which came against Kenyan team Gor Mahia.
Following a wild first few minutes — which included a fan wearing a Manchester United jersey being removed by security after rushing onto the field in an attempt to hug Rooney — the England captain fired an amazing high strike from about 25 yards out to stun the crowd.
— Everton (@Everton) July 13, 2017
Rooney — England’s all-time leading scorer — signed a two-year deal with Ronald Koeman’s Everton on Sunday (July 9) after months of speculation that he would return to the club with which he made his Premier League debut. Manchester United allowed him to leave on a free transfer, and Everton allowed him to continue wearing the No. 10 jersey.
The Liverpool native joined Everton’s youth ranks in 1995 at age nine and played there until 2002, when he began playing for the Toffees’ senior club. By the age of 15, Rooney was playing for Everton’s under-19 team and then joined England’s national team at age 17 in 2003.
Rooney signed with United in 2004 at age 18 on a £25.6 million deal, the highest fee ever paid for a player under 20 years old.
Several Everton fans were quick to note that Rooney’s strike on Thursday was very similar to his very first senior career goal with the Toffees, which he scored against Arsenal in 2002.
Tanzania’s vice-president joked she was hesitating whether she should switch from becoming a Manchester United fan to an Everton supporter following Rooney’s incredible goal.
“Wayne Rooney made me support Manchester United and now I don’t know what to do because he has gone back to Everton,” she said.
“Being here it has been a new experience for me and I hope the vice president will now be able to support Everton,” Rooney responded.
The forward has won the Premier League Player of the Month award five times, a record only surpassed by Steven Gerrard. Rooney is also United’s top goalscorer with 253 goals across all competitions (198 of those were Premier League goals). He also boasts 53 goals in 199 international appearances with England.
Rooney helped United defeat Dutch club AFC Ajax 2-0 in the UEFA Europa League final in Stockholm, Sweden in May. Shortly after that, the forward announced he had “more or less” decided his future with the Premier League club, led by Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho, who said he would never sell the English star.
In August 2016, Rooney announced that he would retire from international soccer following the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but will remain playing at the club level.
England tied Scotland 2-2 in their last World Cup qualifier in Glasgow on June 10, and previously defeated Lithuania 2-0 in March. They next travel to face Malta on Sept. 1 and will host Slovakia on Sept. 4.
Everton open the 2017-2018 Premier League season with a home game against Stoke City on Aug. 12 before traveling to play Manchester City (Aug. 21) and Chelsea (Aug. 26).