Wayne Rooney has ended his professional soccer career and will now embark on a permanent managerial stint.
EFL Championship side Derby County announced Friday that Rooney will move from interim manager to a permanent basis, after the former Manchester United and D.C. United star signed a two-and-half-year deal. Rooney had served as a player-coach for the Rams since 2019 and took over as caretaker manager in November 2020.
Rooney will be joined by former players Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker, who will retain their positions on his staff moving forward. After taking over on an interim basis in November, Rooney has posted a 3-4-2 record in England’s second tier.
“When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club,” Rooney said in a club release. “The stadium, training ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive. Despite other offers, I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me.”
Rooney, the all-time leading goalscorer for both England’s National Team and Manchester United, came to D.C. United during the 2018 season, leaving England for the first time in his playing career. He finished with 23 goals and 15 assists in 48 games for the Black and Red, while also being named to one MLS All-Star Game.
One of his finest moments came in August 2018, where his defensive effort helped lead to a game-winning assist against Orlando City.
In total, Rooney finished his playing career with five Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League title, one Europa League crown, and was named to the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions.
The Rams will look to rebound from an FA Cup exit last weekend as they face off with Rotherham United on Saturday in league action.