Wayne Rooney (R) of Manchester United attends first team training session as part of their pre-season tour of China
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Wayne Rooney really used to have it, man. Remember when he terrorized Arsenal’s defense as a 16-year-old before that was a thing we got used to seeing on a weekend-by-weekend basis? Remember the overhead kick against Manchester City? Peak Rooney was a terrifying Rooney. Now he’s 30 going on 75, and his legs just don’t work the way the used to, and he’s getting nutmegged for fun in training.
The best professional soccer players grow wiser as they get older, learn to make their brains work more than their legs, and they compensate by exercising the mental more than the physical. See: pre-MLS Andrea Pirlo.
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Wayne Rooney of England walks from the pitch after defeat during the UEFA Euro 2016 Round of 16 match between England and Iceland
That’s clearly not happening with Wayne Rooney. After gassing the entire nation of England up with his first performance in the Euros, he then proceeded to illustrate exactly why he’s not cut out to be a center-midfielder. Despite his enviable range of passing for a striker … he can’t tackle, he’s got no real idea of where to be in the middle of the pitch and he just doesn’t have the legs for it.
Here’s Wayne Rooney getting nutmegged. And then megged again. If you rewind it, you can watch Wayne Rooney get megged four times. Hit that little circular icon on the left and you can see him get megged six times.
Do it as many times as you need, because it never gets old. It never gets old because it’s so Rooney. Most players like to take it easy after the ignominy of getting nutmegged, just so, you know, it doesn’t happen again. Wayne Rooney? Nope. He just goes charging in with all the defensive technique of a drunk musk ox. And what happens? He gets megged again.
Hold your hand up Wayne, this one’s on you. Walk it off. (Like always)