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Would Rooney’s career be a better fit for FIFA 17’s Journey


Photo by nasmac
Photo by nasmac

EA opted to make a change to their FIFA franchise with the addition of Journey mode for FIFA 17. Gamers take on the role of Alex Hunter and his rise to prominence from the youth team all the way to the starting line-up of his Premier League outfit. Playing as the 17-year-old the user gets to feel the highs and lows of life at the highest level of the professional game, making crucial decisions for Hunter on the way that define his career. The story somewhat emulates Marcus Rashford’s ascension into a first-team regular with Manchester United.

This time last season the 19-year-old was featuring for the United under-21 side and was not on the radar for the senior squad, bar one appearance on the substitutes’ bench against Watford. He was only called into the starting line-up in the club’s Europa League clash against FC Midtjylland due to a last-minute injury to Anthony Martial, but marked his debut with a brace.

He never looked back after his impressive bow, notching a further two goals against Arsenal and then etching himself into folklore by scoring the decisive strike in the Manchester derby in a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium, becoming the youngest man to find the net in the history of the fixture. Rashford was selected in the England squad for Euro 2016, where he was barely used by Roy Hodgson, despite scoring minutes into his debut against Australia. Such has been his impact for club and country he has become the leading hope for the future of both United and the Three Lions.

His form this season has seen him oust Wayne Rooney from the starting line-up, and the Red Devils’ hopes of winning the Premier League crown could rest on his form in front of goal, with the club currently backed at 12/1 in the latest football betting odds. Rashford’s story has been intriguing to say the least, but the tale of Rooney’s career could arguably been a better theme for FIFA to engage in. The 30-year-old’s decline has overshadowed what has been a remarkable run at the highest level, although it is commonly thought that he has not made the most out of his potential.

Photo by Ben Sutherland
Photo by Ben Sutherland

Still Rooney has remained at the top long enough to become England’s all-time leading goalscorer, surpassing the great Sir Bobby Charlton’s record, which had lasted 45 years.  Only a handful of players across the world can boast an international record as impressive as Rooney’s, despite the Three Lions’ struggles at major tournaments that have blighted perception of the 30-year-old. The forward has had his moments where criticism was justified, none more so than his dismissal against Portugal in the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup, while his outburst in front of the camera following England’s goalless draw with Algeria in 2010 lost him a lot of respect amongst supporters.

Rooney has also had a number of highs and lows in his career with United, such as scoring a hat-trick in his first Champions League appearance against Fenerbahce, winning Europe’s elite competition in 2008 on penalties against Chelsea along with five Premier League titles. His two best seasons for United have come in campaigns when they have failed to win the top-flight crown in 2009/10 and 2011/12, winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year for his exploits in the former.

No English player has enjoyed as much success over the last decade, while his lows have equally been testing, although not as jarring as other players have faced in their careers. His story would be a fascinating journey to follow and perhaps the gamer in FIFA 17 could even improve his accomplishments, especially the fate of England at major tournaments!

TXH loves nothing more than kicking back at the end of the day, controller in hand, shooting the hell out of strangers via Xbox Live.

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