Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes he could still make an impact in the Premier League as the striker targets a return to the top-flight with Derby.
Rooney will resume his career in England next month after joining second-tier Derby as player-coach from MLS side DC United.
The 34-year-old striker will work as an assistant to Rams boss Phillip Coco, with promotion back to the top flight the aim as he tries to prove he can still compete with the sport’s elite even in the twilight of his career.
“I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that,” Rooney was quoted as saying in the British media on Sunday.
“Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them.
“Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40.
“It’s important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game.
“Sometimes that gets lost, because you don’t score as many goals or whatever. Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League.
“The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully, we can get there with them.”
Former England captain Rooney, whose tally of 208 Premier League goals is bettered only by Alan Shearer, went to America in June last year after leaving first club Everton, whom he re-joined from United following a 13-year stay at Old Trafford.
Derby are 16th in the Championship, nine points off the play-off places after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Millwall.