In an exclusive interview Wayne answers questions regarding his BBC documentary ‘Wayne Rooney: The Man Behind The Goals’:

Gary Lineker, interviewing you for the BBC1 programme, The Man Behind The Goals – says that you are watched by millions but known by few. Why did you decide to do the show and to let the cameras into your home for the first time?

We have had many requests over the years but this time the time just felt right to say yes. As captain of both my club and country I feel it is important that people could come to their own conclusion about who I am and how I live my life off the field as well as on it.

All your family, including mum and dad Wayne Senior and Jeanette, are obviously incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved as a footballer. How big an influence have they had on you and the success you have achieved?

When I was young, I always loved football and was definitely obsessed by it.  Its only when you get older and have children yourself you realise just how important your mum and dad were at shaping the person you become and the incredible sacrifices they had to make to give you the opportunity. Both my mum and dad did everything they possibly could to let me follow my dream. They did the same with my brothers Graeme & John. To be honest, without them being prepared to do whatever it took, I could not have got to the stage that I could ever have even considered being a professional footballer. I owe them so much.

You say in the show that Coleen takes a lot of the everyday decisions in family life. Is that true?

It is absolutely true! Coleen makes all the arrangements concerning the kids and what we’re doing. Playing football at the highest level means you are away from home a lot of the time and someone has to get on with making sure that everything is organised for the kids and also our general home life. I am very lucky Coleen is brilliant at getting everything organised and creating a great family home for me and the kids.

Some of the great names in football – Ronaldo, Steve Gerrard, David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker, Gary Neville and Frank Lampard – all appear in the programme and say really good things about you. How does that make you feel?

Obviously I was delighted that they all agreed to take part and speak about me both as a person and a footballer. There was a point in the filming where myself, Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker were all in a room in Old Trafford talking about the goal record for England. I could see how much being the England record holder meant to Sir Bobby but also, how genuinely pleased he was that it had been broken by a fellow Manchester United player and captain. It was quite humbling and brought home to me what an achievement it was.

And many of the managers you have played for – David Moyes, Sven, Roy Hodgson and Louis van Gaal – praise you not only for breaking the England goals record but also for the great contribution you have always made to the team. That must make you feel proud too?

I have always seen myself as a team player and felt that the achievements of the team are always more important than individual honours and records. I know that is not always the natural thoughts of a so-called striker but to me the most important aspect of the game is being part of the team and winning and losing together. So yes I am proud that my commitment to the team has been recognised by the managers I have played for.

You say in the programme that Sir Alex Ferguson was the reason you signed for Manchester United – you say you signed because you felt he was the best manager of all time. Do you still believe that?

I don’t think people appreciate how difficult it was for me to make the decision to leave Everton at such an early stage in my career. But my desire to improve and become the best player I could be even at such a young age meant I could not turn down the opportunity to work with and alongside the person that I thought – and still think – was one of the greatest managers to have ever served the game. Obviously there were times where he and I didn’t see eye to eye or agree on everything, but that is true of most close working relationships in life. It’s more than 11 years since I signed for Manchester United and inevitably there have been ups and downs, but I have no regrets. I believe that I have played my part in continuing the success and standards of the club.

Which England managers did you most enjoy playing for?

First and foremost I have always loved playing for my country and continue to feel the same way today as I did for my first cap. It is an honour that I have said previously I could not walk away from regardless of who the manager is. However, I think I have played my best football for England under Sven and more recently playing for Roy Hodgson. Sven showed great faith in picking me as a young player and unbelievable support in front of the press after our exit from the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany. Roy has similarly always shown great faith and trust in me throughout his time with England. I want to be a part of Roy’s teams for a long time to come and hopefully we both have many years left of service to our country.

What went through your mind when you made footballing history and broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s record which had stood for more than 40 years?

Those that know me well, know I am not an emotional person, but the moment that 50th goal went in I couldn’t hold the incredible emotion I felt coming to the surface. I think that says everything about how much it means. Having said that, once it was achieved I was honestly thinking about scoring more goals for England over the coming years. In a way it’s always the next goal that counts while you’re playing!

How many of the 50 England goals you have scored so far can remember and which games stick most in your memory?

My debut obviously (even though I didn’t score) and my first England senior goal against Macedonia in 2003 is memorable for obvious reasons. But I think my goals against Croatia in Euro 2004 finals gave me the belief that I could go on be a top International goal scorer.

Which goal gives you the most satisfaction when you think back on it?

The 50th (laughs)

You have played in 107 international games for England so far. Can you say which you think were the best games you played for England?

There are many, many games that I think I have played well, but I will leave it to others to make their own decision. What I will say is that whenever I step onto a pitch be it for Manchester United or England my intention is to do the best I possibly can for the team and leave everything I have on the pitch. I can honestly say there have not been too many occasions in my career that I feel I haven’t given my all.

You’ve broken the goals record for England – do you think you can now go on to break Peter Shilton’s appearance record of 125 caps, set 26 years ago?

It’s an old cliché but I tend to concentrate on the next game and let everything else take care of itself. I have not set myself a caps target or a goals target come to that, but I do know I can continue to play for England and contribute to the success of the team. Where that takes me time will tell.

What’s the most special thing about being captain of England – do you feel that the younger players and the rest of the team respond well to you as a leader?

For me personally there is no bigger honour for a professional footballer to be asked to represent his country at any level. Being captain just something else and I take great pride in it. Whenever I’m with England, I am dead serious about working really hard to make sure the whole squad feels involved regardless of age and number of caps.

It’s always been obvious that you love playing for England. Do you think there may come a day, as there did with Stevie Gerrard and others, when you may call time on international football to help extend your club career?

I have said publicly that I don’t see me walking away from playing for England, if selected. Obviously other factors will come into it at some point if I am still being asked to represent my country, but I’m not 30 for a few weeks yet! Stevie who was both a great player and a great captain of his country didn’t announce his retirement from internationals until he was 34 so there is plenty of time before I get to that stage

You are going to be 30 in a few weeks time – how has life changed for you as a player and as a family man as you’ve got older?

Life changes for everyone, the boy of 16 is not the same as the man of 30 whether you are a footballer or whatever else you do in life. Having kids definitely changes you – for the better. These little people come into your life and you cannot prepare or understand just how much love and protection you feel for them and how much love and protection children need. That’s why I am proud to have become the NSPCC’s Ambassador for Childhood because a happy and safe childhood should be every kid’s right. Of course I will always be totally passionate about football out but I have grown to realise that nothing will ever be more important than your kids and family

You were always known as a player with fire in his belly. Have you got any less fiery as you’ve got older?

No I don’t think so. It’s just really that now, through experience, I know better how to control that emotion. I still care as much as ever. I still want to win as much as ever but I don’t let that desire impact me or the team in a negative way

You’ve already taken one record off Sir Bobby! Do you believe that you will go on to become Manchester United’s top goalscorer of all time by beating his tally of 249 goals for the club?

It’s uncanny really how our careers have mirrored each other’s for both club & country. Sir Bobby scored 49 in 106 games and scored 249 goals in 758 appearances. Neither of us would be considered as out and out centre forwards or strikers, But the resemblance ends there as Sir Bobby Charlton is probably the most important player this country has ever produced. Even to have got so close to his club record is unbelievable.

What does Sir Bobby say to you about you beating his records?

He was one of the first people to congratulate me when I broke his record and he has always encouraged me. He held the record for a long time and it meant a lot to him, which I totally respect. Most of all I think he was particularly proud that it fell to a fellow Manchester United player and captain

The England goals record you now hold and the other records you break mean that you will always be remembered as English football’s history man. Does that you give more or as much pleasure as being known as a great team player?

I would be lying if I was to say that breaking records and making history for doing so was not something that I feel very proud of doing. But if I could win a major trophy with England, like Sir Bobby Charlton and his team mates did then that would be the ultimate. Later on when my career has come to an end and I am sitting reminiscing with our grandkids it would be wonderful if I still was the player who has scored the most goals for his country and with a bit of luck also for my club. A trophy as well would be incredible.

Watch Wayne Rooney: The Man Behind The Goals On BBC1 At 9pm on Monday 5 October.

Copyright 2014 Stoneygate 48 Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

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