English soccer legend Wayne Rooney, until now Derby County’s player-coach, has decided to hang up his boots but dedicate himself solely to directing the English second division team, the entity announced.
Rooney, 35, has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract until 2023. Since the dismissal of Dutch coach Phillip Cocu in November 2020, the former England captain has held the position of interim coach, combining it with that of player. .
England’s top scorer (53 goals in 120 games) “chose to end his illustrious playing career in order to fully concentrate on his coaching work,” said the squad that ranks 22nd (out of 24) in the Championship.
Landed in Derby County a year ago, Rooney has played 35 games in his jersey. He will be accompanied on the bench by his former teammate Liam Rosenior, who will act as assistant, and by former Irish international goalkeeper Shay Given.
The first game of the new coaching staff is scheduled for Saturday, with the reception of Roterham United (23rd), a duel between two teams fighting to avoid relegation.
Born in Liverpool and educated at Everton, Rooney played for 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.
Historic English football club, Derby has two leagues and a Cup in its record.