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'Wayne Rooney won't be remembered as a great' | John Giles

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

18:46 21 Jan 2021


John Giles believes that the career of Wayne Rooney will not go down as one of the greats, as he takes on a new role at Derby County.

Rooney was confirmed as Rams' manager last week, after a period in the role as an interim arrangement, bringing an end to an 18-year senior footballing career.

But did he make the most of the prodigious talent?

Wayne Rooney retires

"I think he has been a terrific player. He has got all of the records, which is great," Giles said.

"But I often ask myself: did he make the most of what he had? I don't think so.

"I think he was marching onto greatness until he got an injury when he was maybe 26 or 27. I don't think he marched on from there."

Tier 2

Giles, while deeply respecting Rooney's achievements, believes that his career will be regarded a tier below some of his peers.

"Ronaldo and Messi are still playing; still doing their stuff. I think when you have the talent that he has, you are obliged to squeeze the last drop from it.

"I don't really feel that that was the case. I admired him, he is a terrific lad and I wish him all the best in his management career. But that is honestly what I feel about him as a player."

Desire for greatness

So what separated the very best, from that tier just below?

"I think Ronaldo desperately wanted to do what he has done, and so did Messi.

"Wayne is relatively young to be finished when he did [at the top level]. I know he got a bad injury to his knee, and he was really marching on to be one of the greats.

"What he did was terrific, but could it have been better? With what he had - yes, I think it could."

Rooney and achievements

It would be wrong to suggest that Giles has anything but the utmost respect for Rooney, however.

"I don't want to be cruel to him. I have seen players that in my time that were talked about as great players and they weren't - and saw those that were and weren't regarded as such.

"When he came on as a young fella at Everton, he was terrific. Those three to five seasons at Old Trafford, he was marching on to greatness. For some reason or another, maybe he felt like he had done enough.

"This happens with people. He was still doing OK - was he doing what Best, Di Stefano, Puskas were doing in their day?

"I don't think so."

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