An iconic figure of the modern era believes he could have achieved even more at the top level had he been prepared to be selfish at certain times
Wayne Rooney claims to have only one regret from a record-breaking career that has seen him star for Everton, Manchester United, D.C. United and England.
Having burst onto the scene at Goodison Park as a 16-year-old, the powerful frontman quickly rose to the very top of the game.
Now 33 years of age, he is starting to wind down in MLS after 16 years of Premier League competition.
A place in the history books is already safely secured, as the all-time leading goalscorer for United and England.
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He also boasts two spells on the books of boyhood club Everton on a distinguished CV, but it is from one of those stints on Merseyside that Rooney harbours his biggest regret.
A return to his roots was made in 2017 after slipping down the pecking order at Old Trafford and he admits he should have been more selfish in pushing for a regular role as a striker with the Toffees.
Rooney told talkSPORT when reflecting on the most memorable of careers in England: “I loved playing football and being involved in the game.
“But, if I was maybe a little bit more selfish, then my stats would probably be a bit better if I played as a number nine throughout my career.
“I think my only regret, really, was my last year at Everton.”
Rooney added on how versatility and a desire to aid the collective cause ultimately worked against him: “I started off playing as a striker and then the team wasn’t doing well and then, all through my own fault really, speaking with the manager, we both felt it would be better if I went into a midfield role to try and help us get control of games really.
“When really, I think I should have turned round and said: ‘I want to be up top and scoring goals’.
“I had done it in the first half of the season but, when I went into the midfield role, I didn’t do it so much.”
Rooney netted 11 times in 40 appearances during the 2017-18 campaign.
He did, however, find himself falling out of favour once more under Sam Allardyce and ultimately decided to take on a new challenge in America when heading for Washington after just one season back with Everton.