Wayne Rooney Looks Back on Stunning Winning Goal for Everton Against Arsenal as a 16-Year-Old Boy

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Wayne Rooney has revealed that he was determined to score before his 17th birthday when he took to the pitch for Everton against Arsenal in 2002.

The teenager's stunning late strike marked his arrival in the Premier League and gave the Toffees a 2-1 victory at Goodison Park.

And Rooney has looked back fondly on the landmark goal ahead of Sunday's clash with Arsenal.

"I remember I was just buzzing to score my first league goal," he told the Everton Show.

"I always remember thinking, 'I need to score in the Premier League before I am 17'. That was what I wanted to do, score when I was still 16 and that was the last chance I had to do it. Thankfully, Moyesy (then Everton boss David Moyes) brought me on and I got the winner.

"I was fuming before kick-off because I had played a couple of games before that and I thought I had done quite well and deserved to start.


"When I was 16 I was always confident, thought I was good enough to play and that was always part of my character as a football player – not being happy that I wasn't playing.

"Obviously when you look back you understand why they were doing it – to protect me and because of the fact you can't physically play 90 minutes of all the games.

"But I just wanted to get on the pitch and try to make an impact, and thankfully I did that day. It's still such an important goal for me in my career. It was a goal I will always remember."