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Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney is one of England's brightest soccer talents. A strong, forceful player he also has great pace and vision.

india Updated: May 17, 2006 15:10 IST
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 Current Club: Manchester United
 Birth Date: October 24, 1985
 Birth Place: Liverpool, England
 Nickname: El Blanco Pelé, Roonaldo
 Height: 178cm
 Weight: 78Kg
 Position: Forward/Striker
 Full Name: Wayne Mark Rooney

Rooney gained national prominence in October 2002 when he became the youngest goal scorer in the history of the Premiership at 16 years and 360 days of age, while playing for Everton F.C. His spectacular goal against Arsenal was a last-minute winner. At the end of 2002 he won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Young Personality award.

This record has since been surpassed twice; first by James Milner, aged 16 yrs 357 days, while playing for Leeds United F.C. on December 26, 2003; second by James Vaughan, aged 16 yrs 271 days while playing for Everton F.C. on April 10, 2005, making him the youngest Premiership goal scorer to date.

He has also figured prominently in recent England international matches, after having become the youngest ever player to play for England, in a friendly against Australia, on February 12, 2003, aged 17 years, 111 days.

England's youngest ever player previous to this was James F. M. Prinsep of Clapham Rovers, who made his debut almost one and a quarter centuries before, on April 5, 1879, aged 17 years, 253 days.

Rooney is also the youngest England scorer ever (17 years, 317 days). In 2004, Rooney became the youngest player ever to score in the European Football Championships on 17 June 2004 when he scored twice against Switzerland; however the Swiss player, Johan Vonlanthen, broke this record against France four days later.

However, Rooney was injured in the quarter finals against Portugal - England were subsequently knocked out. As of 2 March 2006, he has played for England 29 times and has scored 11 international goals.

There is concern for Rooney's fitness ahead of the upcoming World Cup after he fractured the base of the fourth metatarsal on his right foot during Manchester United's 3-0 defeat away at Chelsea on April 29, 2006, putting him out of action for six weeks.

However, a similar injury at Euro 2004 took up to 10 weeks for him to recover. England's first game is against Paraguay on June 10, effectively ruling him out of the initial group matches.

However, as England may well advance beyond the group stages of the tournament, Sven Goran Eriksson has announced that he will gamble on the fitness of Rooney.

First Published: May 05, 2006 13:51 IST