LONDON (AFP) – Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney revealed on Friday that he is planning to go into management when he calls time on his playing career.
AFP file - Wayne Rooney
Rooney, 25, may only be approaching his prime as a player but the England international has already turned his thoughts to life after he hangs up his boots and he fancies his chances of succeeding as a manager.
Many of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's former stars have gone on to be successful managers, with the likes of Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes and Roy Keane all in charge of Premier League teams at various times since leaving Old Trafford.
In a MUTV interview, Rooney confirmed he has started to take his coaching badges and even insisted he would be happy to start his managerial career in the lower leagues.
"I would like to be a manager. That would be my ambition when I finish playing," Rooney said.
"You see the players who have played for Sir Alex and gone on to be good managers. I am hoping to do that one day.
"But I wouldn't like to follow the manager here, or start at an Everton or Manchester United.
"I want to learn something about the lower leagues and build a reputation that way rather than just jumping into a big club.
"It is not right if someone goes in and gets a big job with no experience. There are managers who have worked for years trying to get that."
Of course, United are hoping Rooney remains an invaluable member of Ferguson's squad for some time to come given he only recently signed a lucrative five-and-a-half-year contract extension.
Rooney, who also admitted he likes to relax before matches by listening to former Britain's Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle, concedes he was out of order to demand assurances about United's continued progress from Ferguson and chief executive David Gill before agreeing to stay at Old Trafford.
"I went to see the manager and David Gill and asked them for answers," he said.
"Now I realise it has nothing to do with me but I wanted to make sure it was the right thing for me to do.
"I got the answers in the end but looking back it was probably wrong of me to do that."
Rooney did not commit himself to United until after a visit from a hooded gang of around 30 to his plush mansion in Prestbury.
It was an alarming evening for Rooney, who could not even venture out to tell his "visitors" that agreement had already been reached.
"I looked out and saw 30 blokes with their hoods up. I wasn't going to invite them in for tea," he said.
"I understood some of the fans were disappointed and felt let down. But it was just one of those things I had to get right.
"Thankfully I have sorted it out now. I have made the right decision and made myself happy.
"But I didn't even think about where I was going to go. There was no way I would have gone to Manchester City and there was more chance of me going to City than Liverpool."
Rooney also reflected on England's "terrible" World Cup campaign and his attack on the national team's supporters immediately after the goalless draw with Algeria in Cape Town.
"The emotions were high because we weren't winning," he said.
"Our fans were booing after 10 minutes. That is what I was saying. It was disappointing."