Wayne Rooney

Week 101 (5 - 11 August 2015)

 

Footballers are not often recognised for being articulate communicators but this week Wayne Rooney proved otherwise with a measured and humble speech to his England teammates after becoming the Three Lions' leading goal scorer.

As national team captain and captain of Manchester United, communication has become as important as his abilities on the pitch and in the last couple of seasons Rooney has taken this in his stride with motivational team talks that have often inspired his players on to victory.

Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind publicly praised Rooney after a pre-match talk galvanised United to a 3-0 victory over Tottenham last season. It is testament to his development as a great leader and communicator and this was demonstrated on Tuesday night.

After scoring his 50th goal for England in the 2-0 win over Switzerland at Wembley and surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton's record, Rooney composed himself to address the England dressing room.

It was not overly long but was humble and inspirational in equal measure and was typical of a man who has matured into a more confident public speaker.

"Thank you to everyone here - the coaches, the players, the staff who I've worked with for such a long time," he remembered to say with strong eye-contact with the back-room staff present.

He followed this with words of encouragement for the younger players in the squad and instilled them with the confidence to emulate his goal-scoring feat.

"Hopefully for the team and for myself there will be a lot more to come, we can be successful and hopefully a lot of the younger lads - Harry coming through, Ross, Raheem - can come close and even pass me in the future. So I am grateful, it means the world to me and thank you very much."

His speech resonated with fans and the media alike who hailed it "rousing" and "inspirational" and it underlined how far he has come since the precocious Everton teenager who burst onto the scene with that spectacular goal against Arsenal in 2002.

Photo: Flickr