Wayne Rooney, who scored a record 253 goals for Manchester United and broke records for the English national team, officially retired from football on Friday to become permanent manager of Championship side Derby County.
The 35-year-old, who signed a two-and-a-half-year contract, is transitioning to a full-time role after replacing Phillip Cocu as interim manager in November.
Rooney first joined Derby in January 2020 in a player-coach role, returning to England after a short stint with MLS side D.C. United.
He has overseen nine matches so far as manager, accruing three wins, four draws, and five clean sheets.
"When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom, I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club," he said in a statement. "The stadium, training ground, the quality of the playing staff, and the young players coming through, and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive."
"Despite other offers, I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me."
A prolific striker who moved into midfield later in his career, Rooney began his career at Everton, making his debut at the age of 16. He joined United in 2004 for around £27 million and went on to win 16 trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2007-08.
The Merseyside native also tallied a record 53 goals in 120 appearances for England, surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton's longstanding benchmark before retiring from international football in August 2017.
Rooney's next task is a sizeable one. Despite an uptick in performance, Derby remain in the relegation zone in the Championship, just four points clear of last-placed Wycombe Wanderers.
Former Premier League defender Liam Rosenior and longtime Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given will support Rooney as members of his first-team staff. Steve McClaren, who coached Rooney as England's manager from 2006-07, remains as technical director.
A takeover is expected to be completed in the coming days. Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan, cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, agreed to buy the club for a reported £60 million in November.