Now thriving at DC United, Wayne Rooney admits he would have preferred to stay at Manchester United until retiring.
Wayne Rooney says he wanted to finish his career at Manchester United but believes he chose the right time to leave the club.
The 33-year-old scored a club-record 253 goals in 559 appearances for the Red Devils between 2004 and 2017.
The former club captain departed for boyhood side Everton in July last year after struggling to find regular first-team football under Jose Mourinho, before leaving England to join DC United in June.
Rooney admits he would prefer never to have left Old Trafford but thinks he was right to seek a new challenge after falling down the pecking order.
“Of course you miss it,” he told MUTV. “It was the highlight of my career, playing for Man United, and I was there for so long. But it was the right time.
“I wasn’t playing, first of all. I have always been a player who wants to play. Obviously, I spoke to the manager and it didn’t look like I was going to play, so it was the right decision and the right time for me to go.
“Obviously, you wish, the ideal situation was staying there and finishing your career there, but football changes. Different things happen and things happen for a reason.
“I left with great memories. I had a new opportunity to go and play in the States. I had a great time at United, though, and again I am looking forward to going back and seeing a few of my team-mates, and a few friends from the staff who I have made along the way.”
Rooney is back in England to make his final international appearance in Thursday’s friendly match with the United States at Wembley.
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) November 14, 2018