Four of the worst days in Wayne Rooney’s football career

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Wayne Rooney has had a fair share of misery throughout his footballing career, with a home defeat to hated rivals Liverpool the latest painful chapter for the 28-year-old.

Speaking to MUTV in the wake of the game Wazza described the game as “one of the worst days I’ve ever had in football”.

While libel action from David Moyes, contract ‘negotiations’ and the fallout from a series of personal scandals have dented Rooney’s reputation and created plenty of bad days off the field, when it comes to the games on it, the striker has had some nightmares.

And it could get a whole lot worse with Manchester United facing Olympiakos at Old Trafford in the Champions League desperate to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit.

The Red Devils are 8/15 to win on the night but a further 15/8 to qualify for the next round. Let’s hope he doesn’t have another one of those days.

Saturday June 1st 2006  – Rooney sees red

Wayne Rooney is sent off for England against Portugal

Injury had already threatened to rule Rooney out of the 2006 World Cup so, once the man dubbed Roonaldo was confirmed for the finals in Germany, hopes were high that he could replicate his Euro 2004 form.

Instead, the striker struggled, failing to make any impact until the quarter-final stage when he decided to stamp his authority on England’s crunch clash with Portugal in the worst way imaginable – and yes, there was some crunching involved.

Tangling for the ball with Ricardo Carvalho, Rooney planted the studs of one of his boots, full force, on the knackers of the Portuguese player. Right in front of referee Horacio Elizondo.

For all the talk of Ronaldo being a winker, England’s golden boy must have been left feeling like a word not too dissimilar to that description of CR7.

Friday June 18th 2010 – Rooney goes all ‘House of Cards’

Wayne Rooney goes all 'House of Cards' against Algeria

Some of Rooney’s worst memories must stem from his two World Cups with England. In 2006 he was rushed back from injury and enraged but four years later a seemingly in-form Wazza went missing again.

Nerves played a part, with Roonaldo failing to connect with a series of shots and headers in the group opener against USA.

But better things were expected in the next game against Algeria, with Rooney ready to silence the doubters, right? Wrong. The game against the North African nation became memorable for all the wrong reasons as Rooney opted to break the fourth wall of football coverage – Kevin Spacey style –  in a bizarre post-match rant to camera.

With England booed off following an insipid 0-0 draw, Rooney had something to say:”Nice to see your home fans boo you, that’s loyal supporters”. Another bad day at the office.

Saturday March 17th 2012 – Rooney hurts a child (accidentally)

Wayne Rooney accidentally broke a child's arm when Manchester United played Wolves

On a day in which Manchester United won 5-0 at struggling Wolves with Wayne Rooney failing to get among the scorers, the Red Devils forward must have suspected he had left his shooting boots at home long before kick-off.

Warming up, Rooney struck a trademark venomous shot toward Edwin Van Der Sar’s goal. Only problem was that, rather than hitting the target, the strike sailed hard and fast into the crowd.

Normally that would pose little problem, but on this particular day Wayne must have been feeling the kind of frustration that saw him lash in a famous goal against Newcastle United a few years back.

On this occasion, Rooney’s stray shot hit the wrist of nine-year-old Jamie Thomas, who was attending his first game as a Red Devils fan. The boy’s wrist was broken, and he was forced to miss the second half. It was a bad day for Wazza.

Sunday May 13th 2012 – Rooney scores … but it doesn’t matter

Manchester United lost the title despite beating Sunderland

The 2011/12 season wasn’t a great one for Rooney. Having already broken a fan’s wrist with a blistering shot, Wazza suffered Premier League heartache with Manchester United – and it was all going so well.

Going into the final game of the season, United needed to better the result of cross-town rivals Manchester City and started well enough with Rooney scoring to give the Red Devils’ a priceless lead over Sunderland.

It got even better for Roonaldo and co then as City capitulated mid-game to turn a 1-0 lead over Queens Park Rangers into a 2-1 deficit. As the final whistle blew at the Stadium of Light, United were champions – thanks in no small part to the goals of Wayne.

But as the Reds prepared to celebrate a hard fought title victory, which had seemed in doubt after United blew an eight point lead, news filtered through that City had found two goals. Phil Jones’ facial expressions went into meltdown, while Rooney was left wondering whether he should have taken that move to the Etihad.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.