Wayne Rooney is a bonafide Premier League legend and has scored some of the most memorable goals in English top flight history. Here are five of his greatest strikes.
Everton v Arsenal 2002
This was the goal that announced Wayne Rooney, and his prodigious talent to the world. With Everton drawing 1-1 against Arsenal, heading into the closing stages of the game, Toffees boss David Moyes sent on a little known 16-year-old striker.
In the last minute of the game, the talented youngster plucked a long ball from Thomas Gravensen out of the air, before smashing a beautiful curling strike past the dispearing dive of England number one David Seaman, and in off the underside of the crossbar, to send Goodison Park into ecstasy. Rooney’s sensational strike made him the youngest player to ever score in Premier League history at the time.
Cue a now iconic line by the commentator, ” Wayne Rooney, remember the name.”
West Ham v Manchester United 2014
Rooney love’s playing against West Ham. In fact, Rooney is Man United’s record goalscorer against The Hammers with 12 strikes, and this spectacular effort, was until last night anyway, one of the picks of the crop.
Ashley Young punted the ball forward from the right touchline towards Rooney on the half-way line. Rooney nudged Tomkins off the ball and unleashed a swirling volley from five yards inside the Hammers half. As the ball flew up and towards the goal, the West Ham keeper Adrian, became disoriented as the ball moved in flight and then nestled into the net.
Cue the cameras cutting to David Beckham, who fittingly was in the crowd that day, as he had scored a similarly famous effort against Wimbledon years before. Rooney’s goal, all things considered was probably slightly better than Beckhams even though it was a little closer to the goal, due to the fact that controlling the direction of the ball from such a long distance on the volley, is more difficult than striking a ball off the ground.
Man United v Newcastle 2005
This wonderfully struck volley summed up the brilliance, and madness of Rooney in his youth. Rooney was not having his best day, he was just about to be subbed, and had become embroiled in a heated argument with the referee. Just as Rooney turned away from his argument with the ref, the ball dropped to him 25 yards from the Newcastle goal.
Rooney, seemed to channel all his frustrations into blasting a unstoppable volley into the top corner past a hapless Shay Given. A truly magnificent strike. Take a bow son, take a bow.
Man United v Man City 2011
Unless you’ve been living on the moon the last few years, you will have seen this goal replayed hundreds of times on Sky Sports. Having said that, there’s no getting away from the fact, it that it’s one of the best ever Premier League goals and the best of Rooneys 253 strikes for the Red Devil’s.
Nani’s deflected cross from the right seemed to be too far behind Rooney, who had found some space between City defenders, 12 yards from goal, but Rooney had other ideas and smashed a spectacular bicycle kick straight into the top corner. A goal straight out of the top drawer and another crucial strike by Rooney. His wonder goal would spur United on to win the League that year.
Everton v West Ham 2017
The last, and in our humble opinion anyway, probably the best of the lot.
England’s record goal scorer’s 60-yard-strike was a thing of pure beauty. The technique required to strike a ball, so true and accurately from such a distance, is at a level that few players possess.
In all honesty 99% of Premier League players first thought when the falls to them 60 yards out – even if the keeper is off his line is simply to control it, most would not even have the capacity to think of shooting, let alone executing it to perfection.
Ladies and gentlemen prepare to see re-runs of Rooney’s strike for many years to come, as it will surely go down as one of the all-time iconic Premier League goals.
Skip to 1.10 in video.