Rooney joined the Everton youth team at the age of 9 and made his professional debut for the club in 2002 at the age of 16. He spent two seasons at the Merseyside club, before moving to Manchester United for £25.6 million in the 2004 summer transfer window where he won 16 trophies and became the only English player, alongside teammate Michael Carrick, to win the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, League Cup, UEFA Europa League, and FIFA Club World Cup. He scored 253 goals for United in all competitions to make him their top goalscorer of all time, with 183 Premier League goals being the most scored by a player for any single club. Rooney's 208 Premier League goals make him the Premier League's second-top scorer of all time. He also has the third-highest number of assists in the Premier League, with 103.
Rooney made his senior international debut for England in February 2003 aged 17 and is England's youngest ever goalscorer. He played at UEFA Euro 2004 and scored four goals, briefly becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of the European Championship. Rooney has since featured at the 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cups and was widely regarded as his country's best player. He has won the England Player of the Year award four times, in 2008, 2009, 2014, and 2015. With 53 goals in 120 international caps, Rooney is England's all-time record goalscorer and second-most-capped player behind Peter Shilton.
After much speculation over the previous few months, it was confirmed on 9 July 2017 that Rooney would return to his boyhood club, Everton, on a two-year contract, after Manchester United allowed him to leave on a free transfer. Rooney was assigned the number 10 shirt for the 2017–18 campaign. He made his first official appearance on his return to the club in a 1–0 win over MFK Ružomberok in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg on 27 July. He scored on his second Everton league debut on 12 August, when his club beat Stoke City 1–0 at Goodison Park. Nine days later, Rooney scored his 200th Premier League goal in a 1–1 away draw against Manchester City, becoming the second player to reach this landmark, Alan Shearer being the first. On 29 November, Rooney scored his first hat-trick for Everton in 4–0 win over West Ham; his third goal was a strike from inside his own side's half of the field – over 60 yards from goal – scoring as goalkeeper Joe Hart left the penalty area to clear the ball.
In a 3–1 win against Swansea City on 18 December, Rooney scored a penalty and provided the assist for Gylfi Sigurðsson's goal, which put him ahead of Frank Lampard as the player with the third-highest amounts of assists in the Premier League, with 103.
On 28 June 2018, Rooney signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with D.C. United of Major League Soccer, and was given the number 9 jersey. He officially completed his move to the Washington-based team when the US mid-season transfer window opened on 10 July.
On 14 July, in a 3–1 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Rooney made his debut for United, coming on for Darren Mattocks in the 59th minute, and provided an assist for Paul Arriola. Rooney's debut came on the unveiling of Audi Field, D.C. United's new home stadium. Rooney was named captain after three games by manager Ben Olsen, with the consent of former captain Steve Birnbaum. His first goal for the club came on 28 July in his first game with the armband, slotting past his former Manchester United teammate, goalkeeper Tim Howard, securing a 2–1 win over the Colorado Rapids at Audi Field; he left the game with a broken nose after a clash of heads with Axel Sjöberg.
After putting in positive performances for D.C. United, including a sensational last-ditch tackle and pass for the game-winning goal against Orlando on 12 August, and helping them to a play-off spot, he was named 'MLS Player of the Month' for the month of October 2018. His team made the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs but were knocked out at home to the Columbus Crew SC in the first round, in which his attempt in the penalty shootout was saved by Zack Steffen. At the end of the 2018 MLS campaign, he was named as D.C. United's MVP and golden boot winner, having scored 12 goals in 21 matches.
On 16 March 2019, Rooney notched his first hat-trick for D.C. United in a 5–0 home win over Real Salt Lake, also contributing an assist, and later in the season he scored his 300th career goal at club level in a 2–1 away defeat to Houston Dynamo. He played his final match for the club on 19 October, in a 5–1 away defeat to Toronto FC, in the first round of the playoffs. He ended his time in the MLS with 23 goals and 15 assists in 48 regular-season appearances. He had a total of 25 goals in 52 appearances (all competitions) for DC United.
On 6 August 2019, with two years left on his contract with D.C. United, Rooney agreed a deal to return to England as a player-coach with EFL Championship side Derby County in January 2020. Rooney was instantly named captain and his debut came on 2 January as he started and assisted the first goal in a 2–1 win against Barnsley.
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