Wayne Rooney has revealed it was “weird” to play for Everton again in Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial.
The 29-year-old England and Manchester United captain turned out for Everton for the first time in 11 years on Sunday, replacing Tom Cleverley for a 15 minute cameo at Goodison Park.
Rooney joined the Everton academy at just nine-years-old and spent two full seasons in the senior side before leaving in 2004 to play alongside stars such as Ruud van Nistelrooy at Man United in a £25m deal.
Rooney admitted he was nervous before the game but thanked fans for a warm reception.
“Going back into the home dressing room again felt weird,” he said.
“I was a little bit nervous as I didn’t know what to expect. I got a great reception and I was delighted with that. It was also great for my kids to see me playing in an Everton shirt. The day brought back a lot of memories.”
Rooney’s outing at Goodison Park was more sentimental than anything else, and supporters will have been glad to see the United captain greeted in a warm fashion upon his return to the club.
However, on a less romantic note, at 29 there is no denying Rooney is starting to come to the end of his prime, and while he is being touted as United’s first-choice striker for next season, it might not be too long before he has to really start fighting for his place under van Gaal.
While Sunday’s fixture at Goodison was only a testimonial, Everton fans may have warmed to the idea of seeing a club legend such as Rooney back in blue, and in football, stranger things have happened.