Born: Oct. 24, 1985, in Liverpool, England
Clubs played for: Rooney was a teenaged prodigy of hometown club Everton, and garnered headlines when he scored a game-winning goal against Arsenal on Oct. 19, 2002 - five days before his 17th birthday. Everton only managed to hold onto him for another two years before selling him to Manchester United, where he has since become one of the game's biggest stars and helped the Red Devils win several Premiership titles and the 2008 Champions League crown.
International career: Rooney was only 17 when he earned his first England cap in a friendly against Australia on Feb. 12, 2003. He starred for England at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, but drew criticism for stomping on former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo in the quarter-finals as Portugal won in a penalty shootout.
Why is he so special? The Manchester United whiz is sublime with the ball at his feet, burning defenders with his speed, drive, strength and dribbling.
His most famous moment: Scoring a hat trick in his Manchester United debut on Sept. 28, 2004, in a 6-2 win over Fenerbahce in the Champions League.
He said it: "I love playing football but I think I am like everyone else, I hate losing and love winning. And if the time comes when I am not disappointed when things are definitely not going right, then that's when people should worry."
What they're saying about him: "He's blessed with certain ingredients that only great footballers have. It's the determination and hunger to win every match, every time he goes on the field, every training session." - Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
Here's an interesting fact: Rooney's wife, Coleen, writes a weekly column for OK!, a British magazine specializing in celebrity news and gossip.