Rooney asked to play for Everton

LONDON. August 9. KAZINFORM Wayne Rooney was willing to risk a hostile reception at Goodison Park to play for Everton in Tony Hibbert's testimonial, the club's longest-serving player has revealed.

The Manchester United striker, who left his boyhood club in acrimonious circumstances in 2004, asked to support his former team-mate Hibbert in his testimonial against AEK Athens on Wednesday night, only for the game to clash with United's high-profile friendly with Barcelona in Gothenburg.

Hibbert said: "It was great that he asked me but it just worked out that Manchester United also have a game and he was quite upset when he realised. It says everything about Wayne that he was willing to do that. He probably would have got a bad reception but he is not fazed about that. He loves Everton. Deep down he is still an Evertonian, Kazinform quotes the Guardian.

"I know for a fact that he still goes to games. He will do anything for Everton. It was a great honour for me that he wanted to play in the game. I was surprised when he asked whether he could play and if I would like him to. I jumped at the chance but obviously he has other commitments."

The Everton defender, who made his first-team debut in March 2001, believes there remains a chance of Rooney finishing his career at Goodison. "I think it is possible," added Hibbert. "If Wayne wants it, then I think the club would be stupid not to welcome him back. I think there would be a few moans but for us to get a player like Wayne Rooney, who is still a massive Evertonian, like all his family, would be fantastic."

Hibbert has never scored in 309 appearances for Everton, an unwanted club record, but claims to have no plans to take a penalty should one be awarded against AEK. He said: "Everyone has been asking me that. The manager hasn't said anything, nobody has. I would rather us win 1-0 than us get beaten 2-1 and I score the goal. I just want to win. I don't know why everyone is saying I should take a penalty either. It's an easy way of scoring, isn't it? If I'm going to do it, I want it to be a 30-yarder."


Currently reading