On Loyalty

“Read, if you haven’t, my new Slate piece on Wayne Rooney, which is less ROONEY CONTRACT PANIC than a look at how the notion that he’s some kind of half-formed man-child, or an eternal adolescent, has clustered around his career. The gist is that for all the (sometimes justified) criticism he’s received for being immature or childish, what’s really infuriated his fans this year is that he’s acted too much like an adult, particularly in taking a view of his career that didn’t simply give everything up to the greatness of Manchester United.” (Run of Play)

Man U’s Man-Child
“The biggest star on the world’s biggest soccer team has the eyes of a mercenary and the face of a little boy. Athletes who become famous at an early age always seem younger than they are, and Wayne Rooney—who burst onto the world stage at 16, signed with Manchester United at 18, and now, at 25, is comfortably the second-most-recognizable English soccer player on earth—has to all appearances become lodged in semi-adolescence, as if time tried to swallow him and couldn’t get him all the way down.” (Slate)

The battle of Wayne
“One day in 2004, Wayne Rooney was doing what he usually does when he isn’t playing football: watching TV. At the time he was breaking with Everton, the club his clan had always supported. Sky TV was reading out text messages from viewers who called him a rat, a greedy traitor, and so on. Watching at home, Rooney grew fed up. He texted the programme himself: ‘I left because the club was doing my head in – Wayne Rooney.’” (FI – Simon Kuper)


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