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Former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney quits playing to become full-time Derby County boss

FOOTBALL By Mirror | January 15th 2021
Soccer Football - England Media Day - St. George's Park, Burton upon Trent, Britain - November 13, 2018, England's Wayne Rooney during a press conference [Action Images via Reuters, Carl Recine]

Derby have confirmed Wayne Rooney as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal - with the Manchester United and England legend officially announcing his retirement as a player.

Rooney has been acting as the Rams' caretaker boss since Phillip Cocu was sacked earlier this season.

Fellow coaches Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker will stay on as part of Rooney's coaching staff.

Rooney, the record goal scorer for both United and England, said: "When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club.

"The Stadium, Training Ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive.

“Despite other offers I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me.

D.C. United midfielder Luciano Acosta (10) celebrates his goal with forward Wayne Rooney (9) and Yamil Asad (22) during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Orlando City, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in Washington. D.C. United won 3-2. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

"To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.”

Rooney's first game in charge as full-time boss will be at Pride Park against Rotherham United on Saturday.

The 35-year-old initially joined Derby as a player-coach in January last year after leaving DC United in the MLS.

But he took a step back from playing duties to lead the Rams from the dugout following Cocu's sacking.

Derby CEO Stephen Pearce said: "We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Wayne Rooney as our new manager.

“Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances, notably the 2-0 home win over Swansea City and the 4-0 victory at Birmingham City.

“During that nine-game run we also dramatically improved their defensive record and registered five clean sheets in the process, while in the attacking third we became more effective and ruthless too.

“Those foundations have provided a platform for the club to build on in the second half of the season under Wayne’s guidance.”

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