Gary Lineker leads tributes to retiring star Wayne Rooney

‘One of our all-time great footballers’: Gary Lineker leads tributes to retiring Wayne Rooney after former England and Manchester United star calls time on 19-year career to take over at Derby permanently

  • Wayne Rooney has signed a two-and-a-half year deal to become Derby boss 
  • The move however brings to an end a spectacular end a 19-year playing career  
  • Rooney is England’s record goalscorer and won numerous title for Man United 
  • He also represented Everton and Gary Lineker led the tributes to the 35-year-old 

Gary Lineker labelled Wayne Rooney one of the all-time great footballers after he called time on his playing career following his permanent appointment as Derby boss.

The 35-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal to take charge of the Rams – currently in the Championship relegation zone – until the summer of 2023. 

But in order to solely focus on the role he has called time on a 19-year period on the pitch, bringing down the curtain on an illustrious career in which he became record goalscorer for the England national team and won numerous honours with Manchester United.

Gary Lineker led the tributes after Wayne Rooney announced he is retiring from playing

Rooney has signed a two-and-a-half year deal to take over as Derby boss on a permanent basis

And former England striker Lineker led the tributes to United’s all-time leading scorer, tweeting: ‘One of our all-time great footballers has retired.

‘It’s never an easy moment for any player but @WayneRooney has enjoyed a truly wonderful career on the field. 

‘Here’s hoping he’s successful off the pitch with @dcfcofficial. Well played and good luck.’

Rooney’s former United and England team-mate Rio Ferdinand posted a video on Twitter praising the ex-forward, stating: ‘What a career this kid has had.

‘I laid eyes on him when he was 16 or 17 years old, and I remember after an England game as well, I said to his mum and dad in the players’ lounge “make sure he signs for Manchester United”‘.

‘They looked at me and laughed and thought “we have already done that”. What a player. He did it all, he scored a ridiculous amount of goals, scored absolute bangers from anywhere on the pitch, great passer, aggressive, passion, desire, work rate.

‘He was a team player, he sacrificed part of his game for others. He had the lot and he won loads. Now that he has retired people will start appreciating him for who he is and what he was as a player because I don’t think he gets the respect he deserves.

‘No one can doubt he was world class. When we flew anywhere in the world he used to get mad, mad love, more than he got here [UK]. I hope that translates back to where he lives and where he is from.’

Former England and Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott also commended his ex-international team-mate for his career, saying: ‘In my opinion the greatest striker England’s ever seen #Wazza #HappyRetirement.’

Current Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford also tweeted, saying it was a dream to have played with the 35-year-old.

‘To one of the greatest. It was a dream come true to play alongside you,’ he said. ‘Congrats on the most unbelievable career. The [goat emoji]. Happy Retirement.’

Former clubs Manchester United and Everton also paid tribute, with the Old Trafford side tweeting: ‘A captain. A goalscorer. A legend. And now, a manager. Happy retirement, @WayneRooney, and thank you for the memories.’

The Toffees meanwhile posted: ‘Once a Blue, twice a Blue, always a Blue…Congratulations on an incredible playing career, @WayneRooney.

‘We wish you nothing but the best of luck in management.’

Rooney’s ex-club in the MLS, DC United, simply tweeted: ‘Congrats, @WayneRooney’, while current employers Derby said: ‘Captain. Leader. The greatest. @WayneRooney, the manager.’

England’s official Twitter account tweeted: ‘A #ThreeLions legend. Congratulations on a fantastic playing career, @WayneRooney! Wishing you all the best in management.’

The Premier’s League account followed in similar vein, adding: ‘Congratulations on a magnificent playing career @WayneRooney. All the best in management.’

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