The Lion King
I always believed he had the blood of a Lion.
Raw talent and furious energy is how Wayne Rooney entered British football as a 17 year old Evertonion when he thunder-footed a rocket past the pony-tailed David Seaman of Arsenal. "Remember the name, WAYNE ROONEY" the commentator yelled. Remember we would. Though his blood always remained blue, he made a name for himself on the global stage with Manchester United. Under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, Rooney set the Premier League alight winning five League titles and one Champions League along the way.
Consistently being told to tone down his controversial temper, Wayne Rooney did not bow to the beggars. After all, did anyone ever tell Mike Tyson to bottle his anger in-between the ropes? You can take the fighter out of the ring but you can't take the ring out of the fighter. What makes Rooney so magnificent is his temperament; his willingness to fight like a lion even when being attacked by a group of cattle ranchers. He has a never say die attitude that is so admirable in a generation of multi-millionaire footballers who sometimes care more about their hairstyles and football boots than their teammates or success on the pitch. Not Rooney. His blue collar upbringing had something to do with it but moreover I feel like it's his passion, his love for the battle. I sometimes think that he would give up a trophy to play another match. He always wants to be on the pitch rather than on magazine covers or at nightclubs.
Today Rooney retired from International football. The last of the golden generation of English football hung up the boots. As expected he did it without much fanfare, just a simple announcement on his website.
Rooney should go down as a legend of English football, unfortunately he will not. The pure English football fan always puts club before country. Unfortunately that creates an insurmountable bias towards players of opposing teams. Furthermore, I'm doubtful that Rooney will even go down as a Manchester United legend as he's a true blue and expresses it relentlessly. But that's what makes it such a beautiful story isn't it? he doesn't care about his image for he only craves achievement on the pitch.
They call the English national team the three Lions but for me there was only ever one Lion King and that was the legend we chant 'ROONEY, ROONEY, ROONEY' for.
Wayne, England will miss you.