Wayne Rooney has described his hat-trick goal in Everton's thumping win over West Ham United as "one of the greatest" he's ever scored.
Rooney spoke to Everton's official site after the boyhood Blue sealed his first ever hat-trick for the Toffees - and his first Premier League three-goal haul for six seasons - in the richly deserved 4-0 victory over the Hammers at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Rooney's stupendous third saw the veteran forward score from inside his own half after Joe Hart's clearance fell kindly to him and, hitting the rolling ball first time, the 32-year-old guided a raking, spinning shot into the unguarded net to send the Goodison crowd wild.
Asked if he had scored a better goal during his professional career that has also taken in lengthy spells with Manchester United and England, Rooney explained he didn't think he had.
He beamed: “I don’t think so. It’s one of - if not the best - goal I’ve ever scored. I think I hit it as well as I’ve ever kicked a football! To make it my third goal, my first hat-trick for Everton, I’m delighted.”
Rooney had got Everton off the mark on 18 minutes as he nodded home the rebound from a saved penalty on 18 minutes before he doubled the hosts' advantage 10 minutes later following a super flowing move.
Ashley Williams put the gloss on the scoreline after Rooney's exquisite third, and the ex-England skipper added that he was delighted to give caretaker boss David Unsworth a fitting send off with Sam Allardyce poised to take over the first team.
Unsworth was put in temporary charge after Ronald Koeman was sacked in late October and has had to contend with a diabolical situation on Merseyside.
Rooney, though, paid tribute to the man dubbed 'Rhino' and said why it was great to see the ex-Toffees defender rewarded with a brilliant win.
He said: “We will enjoy tonight. First of all we have got to give a lot of thanks to David Unsworth, he has stepped in at a difficult time for the football club, he is a true Evertonian and he has stepped in and has tried to steady the ship for us.
“I am delighted for him that we have got this victory because it’s important for the Club but also David Unsworth so I am pleased for that.”