Wayne Rooney left Everton to join Major League Soccer side DC United on this day in 2018.
England’s record goalscorer, aged 32 at the time, headed to the United States after one season back with the Toffees, his boyhood club.
Following 13 years with Manchester United, during which time he had become their all-time leading scorer, Rooney had gone on to net 11 goals in 40 appearances for Everton in 2017-18, with all of them coming in the first half of the season.
He signed a three-and-a-half year contract with DC United, and said in quotes on their official website: “It is fantastic to be joining DC United at such an exciting time in the club’s history with the new stadium (Audi Field) opening in just a few weeks.
“Moving to America and MLS fulfils another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give DC 100 per cent – as I have always done for every team I have ever played for.”
The club’s chief executive Jason Levien said: “This is a seminal moment for our fans and organisation. Wayne is a global soccer icon and his presence at DC United will elevate our
product on the pitch and soccer as a whole in our city and in this country.
“Wayne has thrived when competing at the most elite levels of soccer and we’re thrilled to have his leadership as we enter this new era at Audi Field.”
Rooney made his DC debut the following month and was with them until the end of their 2019 campaign, scoring 25 goals in 52 appearances.
He moved on to Derby, where he was initially a player-coach before leading the coaching team following Phillip Cocu’s exit in November.
Rooney then became Rams manager on a two-and-a-half year deal in January, retiring from playing, and subsequently oversaw the club staying up in the Championship amid a backdrop of possible further sanctions for Derby from the EFL for “accounting irregularities”.