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Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney: I knew I would succeed at Man Utd

23:00 GMT+3 21/10/2018
Wayne Rooney Fenerbahce Champions League 2004
The former England captain has been reflecting on his Premier League career and the immense belief he has always had in his ability.

Wayne Rooney says he has always been confident in his ability and knew he would be a success at Manchester United.

Rooney spent 13 years at Old Trafford after joining them from boyhood club Everton in the summer of 2004.

The 32-year-old won 16 trophies during his time at the Red Devils, including five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups and the Champions League.

He eventually left the club last summer to make an emotional return to Everton before joining MLS side DC United in June after just one season back at Goodison Park.

Rooney was just 18 when he made the move to Utd but was already a full international having starred for England at Euro 2004 earlier that summer.

Despite his tender years, Rooney insists he never doubted that he would thrive at Old Trafford.

"I always felt I was good enough and I wanted that challenge," said Rooney in an interview with Alan Shearer on NBC.

"Having grown up watching the Premier League, I know a lot of people talk about the Champions League and how important it is to win that but the first Premier League title was really special."

Rooney would go on to score 208 goals in his Premier League career, second only to Alan Shearer’s record of 260. But despite being so prolific in front of goal Rooney admits it took time for him to adapt to playing up front and resist the urge to drop deep in order to get involved in build-up play.

"I played as a striker on my own [in 2009/10] and scored 34 goals. "I remember coming off the pitch after scoring one or two and saying, 'I just don’t feel I played that well or was involved in the game.'

"It was strange. That was really the time when I learned to be more patient and to wait for my opportunities.

"I always wanted to try to be involved in the game. But I knew, as a striker, if you wanted to score more goals you'd have to do more of your work inside the box."

It was 16 years ago this week that Rooney burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old at Everton, scoring a memorable first Premier League goal from 25 yards to end Arsenal’s 30-game unbeaten run.

Rooney says he knew he was Everton’s best player, despite only leaving school just a few months earlier, and would spend just two seasons at Goodison Park before making the move to Manchester.

“I was always confident. At the time, at 16, I remember looking around the Everton first team and knowing I was the best player. I felt that.

"I knew deep down that for me to further my career I would have to go somewhere else."