Wayne Rooney has brought his illustrious playing career to an end by accepting the managerial reins at Derby on a full-time basis.
The club statement added that in accepting the manager’s role, Rooney had “elected to call time on his illustrious playing career to fully focus on his job”.
Rooney earned 120 caps for England, scoring 53 goals and captaining his country. What’s more, he won five Premier League titles with Manchester United and the Champions League in 2008.
He said: “When I first arrived back in the UK [from a stint in Major League Soccer in the United States] I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby.
“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 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.
“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.”
The club confirmed Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker would retain their positions as part of Rooney’s staff.
Rooney begins his permanent reign with Saturday’s Championship showdown at fellow strugglers Rotherham.
The 22nd-placed Rams and the second-bottom Millers each have the opportunity to climb out of the drop zone.
Rams chief backs Rooney revival
Rams chief executive Stephen Pearce said: “Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances, notably the 2-0 home win over Swansea and the 4-0 victory at Birmingham.
“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.”
Rooney, meanwhile, added that he is looking forward to an “exciting” new chapter in his career in football.
Rooney excited for next chapter
“My future I feel is in management. I’ve had a great career with a few ups and a few downs, but I wouldn’t change anything. But now, I’d like to write some history in my managerial career,” he said.
“I am very fortunate I am staying around football and can be part of it. It is a completely different buzz. I will miss playing, of course, but I’ve had my time.
“It’s an exciting time for myself and the other staff and for the players. It’s good for them to have some clarity over who’s in charge.”
Rooney made history during his playing career, especially at Old Trafford. He is the only player to have scored more than 250 goals for the Red Devils, eclipsing Sir Bobby Charlton’s record in 2017.