Former England striker Wayne Rooney has dismissed suggestions that he can no longer compete at the top level, having completed a move to MLS side DC United over the weekend.
Rooney was typically bullish however and stated: “I’m not here to see out the last few years of my career, I’m here to compete, I’m here to win and that’s the way I’ve always played and will always play.
“Even on the training pitch yesterday, there were a few of the academy players and I had a go at them for not running as hard as they should have. That’s on my first day."
Having hung up his international boots shortly after his return to Everton last season with 119 caps under his belt, the Liverpudlian, who spent 13 years at Manchester United scoring 183 goals in just under 400 appearances, elected to take the next step in his career by making the move the America.
With options for the 32-year-old dwindling, a link with a move to MLS was mooted and after weeks and months of speculation, Rooney was finally unveiled on Monday in Washington.
Whilst questions surrounding his ability in the latter years of his career continue to swirl, Rooney is adamant he has joined the Black and Red to make a difference not through his individual talents, but by raising the efforts of all throughout the club.
“I’ve always set high targets", says Rooney. "I demand a lot of myself and expect that from teammates as well. I have to adapt to however the club is run, and embrace it. The club has got great history. It’s been tough over the past few years and the club doesn’t need to look back at that history, it needs to create more history.
“We have to improve, but there’s talent in the team; maybe [with] some guidance on and off the pitch. It’s a new challenge, new culture, new league to play in, so I’m excited. I can’t wait to get started.”