Wayne Rooney has spoken out about the stress he faced in his early career, admitting that it drove him to binge drink alone for days at a time.
The former England striker has opened up about the pressure and stress he faced throughout his career.
Wayne Rooney, who is now the head coach of Derby County, spoke out ahead of the release of “Rooney,” an Amazon Prime documentary about his life and career, on Friday.
The 36-year-old admitted that he struggled with demons early in his career, when he burst onto the scene at Everton before earning a big-money move to Manchester United at the age of 18.
What exactly was said?
Rooney told the Mail on Sunday, “I had made a lot of mistakes when I was younger, some in the press and some not in the press, whether it was fighting or whatever.”
“Dealing with that, dealing with articles in the newspapers, dealing with the manager at the time, and dealing with family at the time was extremely difficult for me.
“I locked myself away in my early years at Manchester United, probably until we had our first son, Kai. I never left the house.
“There were times when you’d get a couple of days off from football, and I’d lock myself away and drink to try to clear my mind of everything.
“I was able to forget about some of my problems by locking myself away. It felt like I was on a binge.”
Wayne Rooney has stated that as he has gotten older, he has been able to better control his anger and drinking than he did when he was younger.
‘When I was younger, I was constantly furious and aggressive. That was clear when I first started playing football. It was evident that I had some difficulties that I needed to address, and happily, I now have them all under control “he stated
“My current relationship with alcohol is fine. There are no issues. Every now and then, I’ll take a drink. Not in the same way that I used to. It’s not like it was when I was a kid. It’s under control.”
Rooney on declining Everton’s approach
When Rafa Benitez was fired as Everton’s manager last month, Rooney was heavily linked for the position.
When approached by the Toffees, though, Rooney turned down the opportunity to interview for the position. He believes he stayed with the Championship team because of his commitment to his players and staff.
“I’ve been here for nearly three years as a player and manager, and you develop relationships with players first as teammates, then as manager, and finally with staff,” Rooney explained.
“Everything I’m asking of those players in terms of hard effort, honesty, trust, and dedication… I honestly couldn’t give that to the players and staff if I just turned around and said, “I’ve had an offer, I’m off.”
“I could see the staff was down after Benitez was fired and my name was linked with Everton. They were afraid that if I departed, where would that leave the club? I’m sure they’ve been counting on me to help them rebuild this club.
“‘I am here in front of you, and I am with you,’ I told the staff. ‘I am with you, regardless of what is being said out there.’ That was a significant deal for them, I believe.”