Former England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will open up on his mental health battles during a new documentary.
“I want people to have a better understanding of me as a person really. Throughout a young sportsperson’s life they go through difficult periods and there is a lot of me talking about moments where I was really down, I didn’t want to be around anyone,” Rooney said.
“People talk about mental health, at the time I did see someone at times. It is about realising what was going through your head and trying to cope with the pressure of playing for Manchester United and trying to be successful, playing for your country, then captaining your country and taking a lot of that pressure on as well.
“They will get a real insight into what was going on inside my head.”
The documentary, which takes a behind-the-scenes look into the Rooney family is scheduled to air early in 2022.
Rooney, now in charge of Derby County’s first team, addresses some difficult topics in the one-off film, talking about moments that led to media stories on and off the field. This nature of reporting has followed Rooney as a player and now into his management.
It’s one of the hardest aspects of being a professional footballer, I can only imagine, but many get on with their lives without much hassle from the press. We know the British media made it witch-hunt, especially in his early England days, and he’s not the first United player who had to face it.
David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Michael Carrick… the list goes on.
“Getting thrown into the spotlight as a 16-year-old and having to deal with everything that comes with playing for your country at 17 was all new to me,” added Rooney.
“I was learning on my feet. I had to learn quick. Of course there were some mistakes along the way as well.
“It is exciting for me to do it and it will be interesting for people to see it.”