London - Wayne Rooney says he can't wait to fulfil his
childhood dream of playing for Everton in Europe in Thursday's Europa League
tie against MFK Ruzomberok.
Rooney won the Champions League and Europa League during his
trophy-filled spell with Manchester United, but the visit of Slovakian side
Ruzomberok to Goodison Park will still rank as one of the more memorable
moments of the 31-year-old's glittering career.
Rooney, who left Everton to join United in 2004, is a
life-long fan of the Merseyside club and his move back to Goodison Park earlier
in the close-season will allow him to live out his ambition of wearing the
Toffees' blue shirt in continental competition.
It may only be a Europa League third-round qualifier, but
Rooney is relishing his first competitive home match as an Everton player for
"Something I always wanted to do was play in Europe
with Everton," Rooney said.
"I was a bit disappointed not to do that before but now
I'll have a chance. Obviously I won the trophy last year so I'm hoping as a
club we can go far and, you never know, try to win it. It would be even better.
"The first game back will be an emotional day for me
and I'm looking forward to it. Overall, I'm looking forward to the season,
hopefully getting back playing regularly and trying to help this club move
Rooney briefly returned to Goodison for Duncan Ferguson's
testimonial in 2015 but his last appearance on his 'home' ground for Everton
was against Bolton Wanderers in May 2004.
"You always get that feeling when you're walking out
the tunnel so to actually do it again in an Everton shirt will be a special
moment for me," Rooney added.