Uncompromising confessions. In an interview with the “Mail on Sunday”, Wayne Rooney spoke about his alcohol problems during his playing career, which were linked to stress and pressure.
The former striker hung up his boots for good a year ago to become the coach of Derby County (23e of Championship). If he is much more peaceful today, he has gone through difficult times during his playing career. Especially on his debut, he who was revealed at only 16 years old at Everton before becoming a glory for Manchester United. The England international struggled to come to terms with his status as a new star in British football after Euro 2004 and to fill his loneliness.
“I made a lot of mistakes when I was young, some came out in the press, some didn’t. To manage that, to manage everything that was in the press, to manage my relationship with the coach (Alex Ferguson, editor’s note) at the time, to manage with my family at the time, it was very difficult, “said he confided. And to add: “In my early years at Manchester United, probably until I had my first son Kai (in 2009), I isolated myself completely. I never went out.”
“Locking myself up alone made me forget some of the problems”
And to fight against the pressure, he started drinking. Many. “There were times when we had a few days off and I locked myself in to just drink and erase all that from my mind. Locking myself away made me forget some of the issues I was struggling with. It was binge drinking,” revealed Rooney, who won five Premierships and a Champions League with Manchester United and became the all-time leading goalscorer for the Reds and Manchester United. England.
“It was the accumulation of a bit of everything, the pressure of playing for your country, playing for Manchester United, the pressure of certain things that came out in the newspapers on my private life,” he explained. And Wayne Rooney finally managed to get out thanks in particular to the support of his wife Coleen and those close to him. “I was constantly angry and aggressive. I had a lot of pain inside me. It took me a while to figure out how to handle that. It was a very difficult period. I understood that I had to sit down and talk to someone. It calmed things down. I spoke with Coleen (his wife), his parents and mine,” said the former striker.
All this period and these difficult times are now behind Rooney, fulfilled by his new coaching career with the desire to coach in the Premier League (1st English division). “Everything that happens to me at Derby makes me think even more that I can have a great career as a coach. I feel capable of going to the Premier League now. I have no more fears about it. I know my strengths and, more importantly, I know my weaknesses,” he said relieved of his anxieties.