Wayne Rooney – On The Road To Legendary Status?
Discussing a footballing great or legend who is still currently playing the game is often met with an understandable air of reluctance. Very few fans would realistically and in all seriousness, label one of their players as an all time great before…
Discussing a footballing great or legend who is still currently playing the game is often met with an understandable air of reluctance. Very few fans would realistically and in all seriousness, label one of their players as an all time great before their career has run it’s course, and even then, the player in question will have to have done something very, very special to be worthy of the illustrious label of a “legend.”
So to even discuss the growing likelihood of 25 year-old Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney as the “L – word” is perhaps pushing it. No doubt at this current time, many will strongly disagree with my observations on Rooney, who is by no means a hugely popular young man, with so much scrutinization and intrusion into his life on, and very unfortunately off the football field as a modern day celebrity.
However, no one can possibly deny the quite simply outstanding ability the man possesses with the football at his feet. He can do things on a football field that can defy belief – his ridiculous overhead kick against City at Old Trafford is the obvious example of what majestic and elevated skill level he sets himself and everyone else around him.
Those who are privileged enough to watch Rooney week in week out playing for Manchester United, will know that one overhead kick, however stunning, is only a tiny fraction of what Rooney has in his locker. His passing, his vision, his skill, his work-rate, his passion – all up there with the greats. Whichever way you want to look at it, Rooney is very close to “having it all,” as it were, and would have no problems in getting into any football club in the world.
This time last year, he was suffering a very difficult period of his career. He seemed to have lost his first touch, his passing was questionable and the goals were not coming for him. He had been involved in a miserable, high pressure World Cup, and became subject of much hate from Manchester United fans and England fans for his clubs contract saga, and bad form.
However, it is a big, player who has a poor season, yet scored 16 goals overall and assists 11. He was able to turn this form on it’s head, and so far this season has continued in that vain of revival – with an impressive 5 goals and 1 assist in just three games.
At just 25, he has broken inside the list of England’s top 10 international goalscorers, and has achieved the same feet with Manchester United. He’s won the Premier League four times, the Champions League once, and has won countless individual accolades.
He is currently in the form of his life, with goals flying into the net at will, passes finding their target like a sniper finds its prey, and his influence on players around him is equally exceptional, as Arsenal’s Theo Walcott explained:
“Just having him on the pitch you seem to get an extra percentage out of all the other players, especially when he’s playing well.”
When a players sheer presence on the football field gets an “extra percentage out of all the other players,” he is clearly thought of as special by his fellow team mates. Very few have this effect, and I suspect, players in the modern game such as Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi, Iniesta and Scholes, as well as those already undeniably established as legends like Pele, Cruyff, Maradonna, Best and Zidane all had similar effects on the players around them.
I am not blindly championing Rooney as a player as good as or better than the legends listed above, I am simply saying that one day, he absolutely could be. He has the talent, passion and determination in abundance, and if he wants to be considered a great, the man named by his fans as the “white Pele” can be, and he will be.
“Legends take football to another level, producing moments of magic which people will never forget.
It is the ability to turn a match with a flash of brilliance and the determination to win at all costs.”
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