Wayne Rooney may not be having the best of times at Manchester United right now, but there was a time when the England captain could do no wrong.
Rewind to 2008, when Rooney was approaching the peak of his powers, and Sky decided to commission the greatest show in television history: Wayne Rooney’s Street Striker.
Hosted by Rooney and, inexplicably, former lower-league journeyman Andy Ansah, the format revolved around young footballers proving their talent by completing tasks in urban locations.
Balls were dropped from council-block terraces, balls were kicked into canal barges, and balls were dribbled through warehouses while semi-flat tyres were rolling from all directions.
Rooney was there to show the hopefuls how each task was done, proving his undeniable class in the below video.
Another sensational aspect of the show was that the players, who generally weren’t that gifted with a football, were awarded with some pretty decent prizes.
They weren’t as lofty as trials at Manchester United or anything like that, but the players would win trips to Brazil for training camps, or to the South Africa World Cup in 2010.
This nugget of nostalgia makes us pine for the Rooney of 2008-2010. The player who tore defences apart. The player who looked like he could burst the ball with his right instep. The player who hosted his own classic TV show, filmed on the mean streets of Stockport.
Television gold, Wayne. Television gold.