Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has retired from football after being appointed as permanent manager of Derby County on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Rooney had been in caretaker charge of the EFL Championship club since the departure of Phillip Cocu in November.
“When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club,” Rooney said in a statement.
“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. 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,” he said.
Since taking temporary charge, Rooney, who was a player-coach since arriving in January 2020, has taken training alongside coaches Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker.
The 35-year-old had said in November that he would retire from professional football if he was given the Derby job on a full-time basis.
Rooney started his career at boyhood Everton and became the then-youngest Premier League goal scorer at the age of 16 with a stunning late winner against Arsenal in October 2002.
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By Ofhani Munyai