Wayne Rooney has been criticised quite a bit of late. There are those who think he is no longer what he was. My friends tell me that he is finished. And whilst that may be the case, one cannot deny the wonderful career that he has had.

Bursting on to the scene

After bursting onto the scene as a 16-year old with a wonderful goal against Arsenal whilst playing for Everton in 2002, Wayne Rooney has become a true legend of the Premier League. The fact that he has played for one of the world's biggest clubs in Manchester United for such a long time (since 2004) tells you about the player that Rooney has been.

For a long time he was the go-to player, not just for United but also for England. It was often felt that if he was not able to play, the team would suffer. The immense burden that was placed on him would have affected most players, but Rooney simply got on with what needed to be done.

His achievements

There are those who feel that Rooney has not reached his full potential. He has only scored more than twenty goals in a Premier League season twice according to the Premier League website and on the international scene Rooney has only scored one goal at a World Cup finals, according to the Talk Sport website. It is as a result of this that Michael Benson of Talk Sport believes that Rooney will be remembered as a "great player" who played for England, but "not as an England great".

However I disagree with such criticisms and these are the reasons why. Not only has Rooney become England's all-time leading goal scorer but he has achieved that feat at Manchester United. For at least a decade, Rooney led the line for both club and country. Although at times playing second fiddle to the imperious Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney has consistently delivered.

From his hat-trick on his debut to incredible goals against Newcastle and Manchester City, Rooney has lit up the Theatre of Dreams since his arrival. He has been the greatest player that England has produced since Paul Gascoigne.

Wherever Rooney ends up and even if he is indeed finished, one cannot deny the wonderful career that he has had. He will most certainly go down as an England and Manchester United legend and that is the least that he deserves.