Wayne Rooney is considered to be arguably the best player in English football history. He is the all-time highest goalscorer for Manchester United and had a fascinating career to say the least, winning everything possible during his time at Old Trafford but then also being part of the club's slow decline in the years after Sir Alex Ferguson retired. He certainly seems to have served as a major influence on one Real Madrid superstar.
Jude Bellingham has proven to be the signing of the summer. Real Madrid brought him in from Borussia Dortmund for a transfer package believed to be around €134 million.
Bellingham was one of the biggest talents in world football but even then, he has exceeded all expectations since joining Real Madrid. The Englishman has made a record-breaking start to life at the club and recently was awarded the Golden Boy 2023.
It was a deserved win to say the very least. He joins a prestigious list of Golden Boy winners that includes names like Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Aguero, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Rooney as well.
Real Madrid superstar pays tribute to Wayne Rooney
Bellingham has admitted that Rooney was a big influence. As reported by Four Four Two, he said when asked who had been an inspiration in particular:
"For me I probably say Rooney was the biggest influence.
“Growing up, obviously being from England and the way he played. But there are so many of the players [in that list] that I’ve taken bits from, so I’m grateful to join that list."
Rooney rose to prominence at Everton and joined Manchester United in £27 million transfer deal at just 18 years of age. That was a world record fee at that time for any player under 20.
Rooney went on to have a legendary career at Manchester United. And yet, there has always been the feeling that he could have achieved a lot more than he did. Many feel that the Englishman peaked way too early.
He ended up returning to Everton at 31 years of age and his career had been on a downward trajectory for a while by that point in time. At 32, he was in the MLS with DC United and at 35 he retired. Interestingly, he is currently the manager of Birmingham City, the club whose ranks Bellingham came through.