Another football post, and this time heralding one of the greatest Manchester United players ever to pull on the red top. This documentary, presented by another of the great English strikers, Gary Lineker, celebrates Wayne Rooney’s prolific career up to the moment his penalty against Switzerland rifled the roof of the net, surpassing yet another United and England legend, Bobby Charlton’s, international goal-scoring record.
Everyone I’ve spoken to about this documentary has brushed it off because, “Who cares about that thick, Shrek-head?” Initially, I did think it was slightly unnecessary to create such fuss about a footballer’s achievement when more impressive feats are achieved by Policemen, Firemen, and Soldiers everyday. Still, I sat down to watch it and it really gives an insight into the Rooney life. Their house is by no means modest, but it seems that the Rooney’s, especially Wayne are.
Great footballers who transcend the boundaries of sport and become international superstars, usually enjoy the limelight, and the money that it brings. Think of stars like David Beckham, who Sir Alex Ferguson claims in his autobiography was more into the fame side of the game than the actual playing of it. Cristiano Ronaldo is yet another of these stars and, in his interview, says with his usual, effortless swagger:“I know what it’s like for him, I do understand the pressure of being Number 1.” But Rooney appears to be humble, and the film shows that his maturity has dramatically increased with age, the birth of Kai and Klay, and his England captaincy. He’s one of the lads and an absolutely indispensable part of the team.
Okay, so he has occasionally let England fans, United fans, and himself down. And he has not performed as we would have expected him to at major tournaments. But think of the goals he’s scored to get us to those tournaments. What could have happened at Euro 2004 if Andrade had not broken his metatarsal? I’m also in the camp that defends him for his remarks at the 2010 World Cup when England ‘fans’ booed the team as they limped out of an unsuccessful tourney. Admittedly, we were dire and as a fan, I am also frustrated with such hope being dashed at the group stage. But I’m of the opinion that you should always support your own team; regardless of moments of adversity.
Football fans are fickle. But when it comes to international football, nationalistic support should be there in the droves. I do not blame Rooney for lashing out at us to the camera which was in his face gauging his anger and provoking a reaction. It simply shows that he is grounded, and in love with the game.
Ultimately, his 50 goals for England have all been important and he has at least another four years to make and score more. His maturity can be seen whenever he walks on to the pitch with that armband on, and despite his mistakes and unintelligent reputation, his passion for the game is unrivalled and should be respected.
It has and will continue to drive us forward.
See the documentary here: Rooney: The Man Behind The Goals (BBC iPlayer)