Gary Neville has revealed Wayne Rooney ‘threw the punch’ during their time together at Manchester United, but never at people who didn’t deserve it.
Manchester United and England legend Rooney will feature in an Amazon Prime documentary early next year.
The show will provide a unique behind-the-scenes look at the current Derby manager’s journey, from where he grew up in Croxteth, Liverpool, to his rise in professional football and its challenges.
England international Neville talks about Rooney’s aggressive streak during the documentary.
Neville said, “He played like he was a street kid.
“Sure, he threw a weird punch… but I’ve never seen him punch when they didn’t deserve it.”
Fighting was his way of life as a child growing up in Merseyside after admitting he “wasn’t the kindest child”.
“I was raised to fight… fight for everything. It will never leave me, ”Rooney recalls.
“I grew up in Croxteth. If you come from there, you don’t think it is a violent place.
“But I had lots of arguments with my dad and he would slap me.
“I wasn’t the nicest kid. I had a lot of fights when I was younger.
His contemporaries remember his aggressive streak and there were several occasions when it came to haunt him during his career.
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry recalled when Rooney burst onto the football scene with a nasty steak.
The Frenchman said: “You looked at him and you knew he wanted to destroy everything in front of him.”
In his first international tournament at Euro 2004, Rooney attacked Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and received a red card. Later that summer, the pair would become team-mates when Rooney made a £ 26million transfer to Manchester United.
The 35-year-old was also knocked out as he boxed with Phil Bardsley in his kitchen as there were numerous other off-court scandals he encountered in his career.
But he wants to leave a legacy and for people to remember “who I am, not what I did”.
“What people don’t understand is that you’re 17… there are going to be some mistakes,” he said.
“People always look at me differently. But it’s important that people remember me for who I am rather than what I’ve done.
“Football is and will be a part of my life until the day I die… whether I like it or not.”
Download talkSPORT Edge NOW!
It’s the free soccer app that lets you stay one step ahead of your friends with short, to the point, and shareable content.
Whether it’s goals as you go or the latest news from your club, stay on top of everything that is happening in football with the latest news, live scores and in-app betting.
Download talkSPORT Edge from the App Store here.