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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 July, 2004, 03:01 GMT 04:01 UK
Rooney almost quit football
Wayne Rooney
England star Wayne Rooney has revealed how he almost quit football to hang out with his friends.

Rooney told The Sun newspaper that while at school he got tired of training every week night and then playing a match at weekends.

"I had to go training five nights a week and then play a match every Saturday or Sunday."

He added: "During the week I wouldn't get home until 9.30pm, too late to play with my friends."

Rooney revealed his friends would be "going to the cinema or hanging out in the street together and I'd be putting on my kit to train".

He said: "There were times I didn't want to go, I just wanted to give it all up. I wanted to hang with my mates, go to the cinema, just do normal stuff.

I'm lucky... I'm living my dream and I appreciate that
Wayne Rooney

"My mum and dad would say to me, 'if you want to be a footballer you have to make sacrifices', and then they would put me in the car and drive me to the training ground."

Rooney added that he had to be disciplined to get where he is now.

"I've trained to be a footballer since I was the age of nine and when I look back I can't see what else I would have done if it hadn't worked out," said the 18-year-old.

"I'm lucky. I'm living my dream and I appreciate that."

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