Kevin Kilbane says “ultimate winner” Wayne Rooney has the best attitude of anyone he’s ever played with.
Speaking as the special guest on this week's edition of The Everton Show - watch on demand below - Kilbane hailed his ex-Toffees teammate, who is the Club's current top goalscorer.
Since returning to Everton last summer, Rooney has hit 11 goals for his beloved Blues. As well as his obvious ability on the pitch, he’s also impressed at USM Finch Farm with his professionalism, eagerness to pass on his wealth of experience to the Club’s young talent, and hunger for success.
Kilbane was at Goodison Park when Rooney broke into the Everton side at the age of 16, and says his fierce determination and will to win was evident as soon as he started training with the first team.
And if Rooney fell short of the exceptional standards he set for himself, Kilbane says his teammates soon felt the consequences.
“He was a perfectionist,” Kilbane told The Everton Show. “He wanted to do everything to the best of his ability, and if things didn’t go right on the training ground, he’d kick you.
“The one thing that stuck out to me when he was 16 or 17 was his desire every single day. He was an ultimate winner. He had one the best attitudes – if not the best attitude – I’ve seen in professional football.”
Kilbane’s admiration for his ex-teammate shines through, and the 110-times capped Republic of Ireland international also reserved special praise for countryman Seamus Coleman.
The Donegal man is closing in on his 250th appearance for the Blues, and Kilbane says the full-back – bought from Sligo Rovers for £60,000 in 2009 – represents one of the best signings of the past 20 years.
“Across the course of my career in football, I don’t remember a signing that’s had a bigger impact,” says Kilbane, who himself made 121 Blues appearances.
“He’s been an absolute bargain. And it isn’t just about how good he is as a player – he’s such a great lad. He’s very amenable, he fits perfectly in to what Everton is about.”
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