No plans for me to retire anytime soon – Rooney

By Mirror: Tuesday, December 31st 2019 at 12:30 GMT +3 | Football
Ex-Man United striker Wayne Rooney [COURTESY]

Wayne Rooney insists he will carry on playing for as long as he possibly can ahead of making his Derby bow.

Rooney, 34, is eligible to play for the Rams when they host Barnsley at Pride Park on Thursday having agreed a deal to join the Championship side in the summer.

He will be hoping to reverse their fortunes after a tricky start to life for boss Phillip Cocu.

Derby host Charlton on Monday night and failure to beat the Addicks will leave them just two places outside the drop zone going into the new year.

Manchester United legend Rooney has penned an 18-month deal in the East Midlands - and has hinted he could play beyond the expiry of his contract.

“That depends on different circumstances," he told Sky Sports. "I have an 18-month contract. It depends on how my body is after that and how Derby feel I have done.

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“I feel good. I’ve been lucky in my career that I haven’t had major muscle injuries that can affect you later on. I haven’t missed a training session in two years. I will play for as long as my body allows me.”

Rooney - who is United and England's record goal scorer - insists he still has plenty to offer, and believes the Championship may throw up similar challenges to the ones he faced playing for DC United in the MLS.

"I signed in the summer but I’ve been in for a few weeks now training and I’m ready to play," he added. "I’m looking forward to it.

“I feel my body is still ready to play, I feel good. As long as I feel I can benefit the team, then I’ll play. I feel I can add quality to the team, experience. I feel there is plenty I can offer.

“It’s a league that I’ve always watched and it’s a bit different to the Premier League – there are a lot more games first of all.

“Quality-wise it’s probably not as good as the Premier League but it’s a good league. You have to battle to get results and I have no problem with that.

“I think it will be similar [to MLS]. Probably better individual players. It’s a tough league and I’m ready for it.”

Rooney will couple playing with a coaching role at Derby and plans to move into management when he does finally hang up his boots.

He said: "Of course. When I finish playing, that is something I want to move into. I’m an ambitious person and want to give it a go. I feel I have a lot to offer the game.

“The opportunity came up here and the big thing for me was to be able to play and have the coaching role where I can get that experience for the transition from player to coach.”

 

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