Manchester United legend reveals he had a big drinking problem during peak playing years

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Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has revealed he had a secret problem with drinking during his playing days at Man United. 

Rooney, who is currently the manager of Derby County has revealed in his upcoming Amazon documentary he would often ask for days off in order to binge on alcohol to help ease the pressure on him in his professional and personal life.

Rooney spoke to The Sunday Times in an interview about his struggles with drinking at the height of his playing career, and how it helped him deal with the fame and success which came with his meteoric rise to the forefront of the nations and his clubs hopes of winning trophies.

Rooney scored 253 goals for Man United and is one of just two players to have scored 200 Premier League goals.

He said: “It took a long time to figure out how to deal with it. It was like being thrown in somewhere you are just not comfortable. I made a lot of mistakes.

“There were times you’d get a couple of days off from football and I would actually lock myself away and just drink, to try to take all that away from my mind.”

16-year-old Wayne Rooney burst on to the scene and was instantly thrust into the limelight, quickly becoming one of the greatest talents of his generation, arguably the best at times. Something Rooney admitted he struggled which led him to drink and, conceding that it affected his twilight years at United.

He added: “If I saw a couple of days’ window, I thought, ‘Right, that’s a couple of days where I can go at it and forget things’ … and that had an impact on me on the back end of my time at Man United because you can’t do that as an athlete.”

Despite his behind the scenes issues, Rooney went on to become Manchester United’s and England’s leading goalscorer and laid out an extremely distinguished career, winning every piece of silverware available to him at club level totalling 17 trophies including five Premier League titles, a Champions League and a Club World Cup.

If you or someone you know suffers from a drinking problem please visit Drinkaware for help.

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