The English football legend
has decided to hang up his boots to dedicate himself solely to directing Derby County, a team in the English second division in which he already acted as player-coach.
Rooney, 35, makes the final leap to the bench by signing a two-and-a-half-year contract, until 2023. Since the dismissal of Dutch coach Phillip Cocu in November 2020, the former England captain held the position of interim coach, combining it with the player.
England's top scorer (53 goals in 120 games) "chose to end his illustrious career as a player to fully concentrate on his coaching work," said Derby County, which is ranked 22nd (out of 24) in the Championship.
Landed at the club a year ago, Rooney has played 35 games in his jersey.
He will be accompanied on the bench by his former teammate
, who will act as assistant, and by former Irish international goalkeeper
"It's the place for me"
"Even though I had other offers, I knew instinctively that Derby County was the place for me," said Rooney.
"To have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is a true honor. I can promise everyone involved in this club, as well as the fans, that I will leave no stone unturned. to achieve the potential that I have witnessed in the last twelve months at this historic club, "he added.
The first game of the new coaching staff is scheduled for Saturday, with the reception of
(23rd), a duel between two teams fighting to avoid relegation.
Rooney, born in Liverpool and trained at Everton, played for Manchester United between 2004 and 2017, scoring 253 goals - a record for the Red Devils - in 559 games.
He then returned to Everton and then crossed the Atlantic in 2018 to join DC United, his last experience before the Derby.
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