London, Jan 15 (IANS) Manchester United and England great Wayne Rooney retired to become full-time manager at English second-tier team Derby County, the club said on Friday.
Rooney (35) has been interim manager at the club since November but has now been given a two-and-a-half-year contract to take on the role permanently.
“In line with taking up the managerial position, Rooney has elected to call time on his illustrious playing career to fully focus on his job,” said the club in its statement.
Rooney earned 120 caps for England and scored 53 goals. He surpassed Bobby Charlton as the highest goalscorer for the country when he scored his 50th international goal from a penalty in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Switzerland in September 2015. Rooney retired from international football in August 2017 but returned on November 4, 2018 to play one final game for England.
Starting his career at Everton, Rooney moved to Manchester United at the age of 18 for 25.6 million pounds in 2004. It was the highest amount ever paid for a player under 20 years old. He went on to win the Premier League five times along with one FA Cup and a Champions League title. He became the club’s all-time highest goal scorer, a record that was also held by Charlton, when he scored his 250th goal for United on January 21, 2017.
Rooney briefly returned to Everton for the 2017/18 season before moving to DC United in United States’ Major League Soccer. He joined Derby County at the start of the 2020/21 season.