Wayne Rooney grew up as an Everton fan and even got here by their academy, but when he was on the pitch for Manchester United it was fairly clear the place his allegiances lay.
Rooney had signed for the Red Devils as an 18-year-old in 2004, becoming a member of for a fee of £27million, a sum that might show to be a steal within the long run.
He would ultimately re-join the Toffees in 2017, having grow to be United’s all-time main scorer, but till that point, he seemingly didn’t care too much about anybody outside of Old Trafford.
The striker also didn’t take criticism very properly, as was made abundantly clear to the nation through the 2010 World Cup, when he told the camera: “Nice to see your home fans booing you, talk about support,” after England’s poor displaying towards Algeria.
Both of the aforementioned traits had been proven most clearly in two games at Goodison Park, his stomping floor as a teenager before making his massive move, when he kissed the United badge – not once, but twice.
The first incident got here in 2007. Everton had gone 2-0 up but a goal from John O’Shea and Phil Neville’s own goal had introduced the game back to stage phrases.
With the game – and United’s title aspirations – within the steadiness, Rooney stepped up when Lee Carsley’s header from a cross into the field deflected the ball in the direction of him. He took it in his stride, beat Tony Hibbert and slotted the ball past Ian Turner.
He was clearly happy to give it to the Everton fans behind the goal, goading them along with his arms within the air before planting a smacker on the United badge and celebrating along with his own fans.
— Josh (@UtdJL) November 30, 2018
Maybe it was a rush of blood, maybe he wished to do one thing that might get under the pores and skin of Toffees fans, but regardless of the intentions, this undoubtedly wound them up and it solely got worse when he assisted Chris Eagles to safe the 4-2 win.
Fast forward one other year and Rooney was at it once more, although this time it was more out of frustration than pleasure.
Darren Fletcher had opened the scoring for United, but Marouane Fellaini – then David Moyes’ new £15million signing – had come up with one of the headers that might grow to be his trademark to equalise.
All of this was clearly inflicting frustration for Rooney, and all of it got a bit too much for him when he was booked for fouling Mikel Arteta as the Spaniard went to clear the ball.
The red mist appeared to descend as the yellow was raised and Everton fans within the terraces had been revelling at his misfortune.
He clearly wished to get back at them. Whether he thought of last time is unknown, but he knew kissing the United badge would annoy them, so he put it to his lips, held it there for a second after which pointed in the direction of the stands.
This motion earned him one other talking-to from the referee, far more jeers from the Everton devoted and a pretty swift departure from the pitch, as Sir Alex Ferguson replaced him with Nani.
#ThrowbackThursday: Wayne Rooney kissing the United badge in front of Everton fans
— 🔰 Totally Man Utd™ 🔰 (@TotallyMUFC) July 13, 2017
The two badge kisses had very totally different outcomes, but on the very coronary heart of them both was a need to frustrate the opposition supporters who had once adored him – he did such a good job that it prompted a feud between player and fanbase for years to come.
While Rooney could remorse it in hindsight, there’s something nearly admirable in a player having the ability to block out any emotional reference to a club or place that he is so carefully linked to for 90 minutes.
These had been his own people, the identical ones he would have stood or sat with as a youngster watching his own heroes, those he would have chatted to within the streets about Everton’s outcomes, and those who cheered him on on the start of his career.
Yet he utterly indifferent himself from that emotional connection, utilizing it as leverage to try and get the better of Everton and finally win.
This kind of mentality won’t have got him a lot of pals – and has arguably made him look silly at occasions – but it’s this willingness to do no matter it takes that also doubtless played a large half in his success.
So Wayne, right here’s one to you kissing the United badge to infuriate the entire of Goodison Park – not once, but twice.
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