Wayne Rooney Net Worth: How Much Has The New DC United Coach Earned?

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It’s been a week of big announcements in Major League Soccer. Former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale announced he would sign for Los Angeles FC, joining Italy’s Euro 2021–winning captain Giorgio Chiellini, while legendary Mexico midfielder Héctor Herrera played his first game for Houston Dynamo following his move from Atlético Madrid. Perhaps the biggest move though, was at a coaching level, where D.C. United pulled off what might be seen as a coup, appointing Wayne Rooney as their new manager.

 

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Rooney the player

Rooney’s story begins two decades ago, where at 16, he made his debut for English Premier League club Everton and became their youngest ever goalscorer. At 17, he became the youngest player to be capped internationally for England, and then the youngest player to score for them. At just 18, he scored four in four matches at Euro 2004 and was named in UEFA’s Team of the Tournament, despite England being knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Portugal.

Manchester United had seen enough and spent £27m ($39.02m) to bring him to Old Trafford, the biggest sum any club had ever paid for a teenager. In the next 13 seasons, 393 games brought 193 goals, making him the top scorer in United’s history. 53 goals for his country saw him break fellow United great Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49. In 2017 he transferred back to boyhood club Everton, playing out the remainder of the 2017-18 EPL season, before signing a 3.5-year contract with D.C. United. However Rooney struggled to settle in the States, and left in 2020 to become player-manager of English Championship side Derby County. He hung up his boots at the end of the 2020 season and took over as Derby’s head coach.

Off the field

As the highest profile English player of his generation, media has followed Rooney wherever he goes, and controversies have followed. Accusations of cheating on his wife Colleen have dogged him, and he was convicted of DUI in 2017. Unwanted headlines also hit American newspapers, when in 2018, he was convicted of public intoxication after an infraction at Dulles International Airport during his D.C. United playing stint. Rooney has long been accused of not taking care of his fitness properly due to off-field habits and compared unflatteringly to Cristiano Ronaldo – who we profiled in ‘Cristiano Ronaldo Net Worth: Is Ronaldo A Billionaire Or Millionaire?’ – and at a year older than Rooney, is still playing for United.

 

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Rooney the coach

Rooney was not expected to do well at Derby. He took them over mid-season 2020 when they were rooted to the bottom of the league. Worse still, financial mismanagement had left a threadbare squad and no money to bring in new players. Rooney went on to win 18 of the 31 games that season, and comfortably kept them in the Championship. Worse was to follow in the 2021 season as those same monetary issues saw Derby docked 12 points before a ball was kicked. Rooney’s Derby County were outright favorites for relegation in Ladbrokes Championship odds last season, but he kept the fight going until the death.

He might not have left, were it not for an impending takeover battle that left him unable to assemble a squad for the new season. Their loss is D.C. United, and the league’s gain. For a long time, MLS has been viewed in Europe as a retirement league – where big players go for one last big contract. Rooney is a coach on the up, and is building an impressive reputation as a manager over and above a glittering playing career.

Rooney’s net worth

It should be stated Rooney isn’t likely to be coming to Washington for the cash. At Derby he was the highest paid employee. However he reportedly refused to take his full salary in order to ensure players were paid in full given Derby’s fiscal woes. The details of his initial contract with United were not divulged, but given Everton offered him a then club record £50k ($59.41k) a week to stay, we can surmise it was at least that.

By the end of his United career he was earning £300k ($356k) per week, and in total, he’s liable to have earned around £100m ($118m) playing for the Red Devils. Factor in endorsements with EA Sports, Samsung and Nike and we estimate that Wayne Rooney’s net worth is going to be north of £120m ($142m) at today’s conversion rate. If he can take D.C. United’s fortunes on the pitch to a fraction of the fortunes he’s accumulated, then fans of the Black & Red will be very happy indeed.

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