Rooney goal celebration proving a knockout

Wayne Rooney has revealed his son Kai has been copying his goal celebration in front of his classmates at school.

Wayne Rooney.

Not for the first time in his career, Rooney found himself the subject of a number of unwanted headlines last month after a video was published which apparently showed him being knocked out in a playful fight with former Manchester United team-mate Phil Bardsley.

Rooney poked fun at the furore caused by the video when he followed his goal up against Tottenham with a shadow boxing celebration that ended with him falling to the deck.

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The celebration was a big hit on social media and it was quickly included in lists of all-time top football celebrations along with the likes of Paul Gascoigne’s ‘dentist chair’ effort at Euro 96 and Peter Crouch’s robot dance.

And it seems the celebration was a knockout with Rooney’s five-year-old son too.

“It’s funny, actually. My wife went to pick up my lad from school and saw him doing that in the classroom,” the England captain said with a chuckle.

Some were unhappy at the fact that Rooney was involved in quite a fierce sparring session in his kitchen, and the fact that he fell on to a hard floor close to a fairly sharp table leg.

But he played the incident down and insisted he was not knocked out.

“For me, it wasn’t a big issue,” he said.

“For (United manager Louis van Gaal) it wasn’t a big issue.

“If I’d felt it was that wrong, I’d have apologised to the right people. But for me, that’s been and gone and I’m now concentrating on my football.

“I was in a house with some friends. Obviously I was caught on the wrong end of a punch, but I wasn’t knocked out like it was reported.”

That said, he will not repeat the celebration.

“I’m sure you won’t be seeing that again,” he added with a smile.

Despite being the captain, Rooney has not escaped punishment from his England team-mates on the matter this week.

They have been teasing the striker about the episode right from the moment they met up at St George’s Park on Monday.

“There has been (stick) around the place, at United and England training,” he said.

“But you’d expect that. They’re a group of lads. I’ve always loved boxing. Unfortunately, sometimes, it didn’t go too well for you.”

Rooney looked tense when he first addressed the issue after the 3-0 win over Tottenham, but as he spoke to the media on the eve of England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania, he was in a much better mood.

That bodes well for England and for Rooney as he has a big target in his crosshairs.

If Rooney scores three more times over the next five days, he will equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record.

Scoring a hat-trick against Lithuania - a team ranked 94th in the world - is definitely possible, especially when Rooney is going into the match in such good form.

Gary Lineker famously crumbled under pressure trying to reach that landmark in 1992 when he missed a penalty just one goal shy of Charlton’s 49-goal mark.

Rooney does not seem fazed by the possibility that he could make history over the next few days.

“Obviously I am close. It will be a fantastic moment for myself, a proud moment if I can do that,” he said.

“Hopefully one day it will happen and sooner rather than later, I have to keep concentrating on what has got me to this position and try to do my best for the team and hopefully I can get goals along the way.”

Charlton, a director at United, speaks often with Rooney, but the striker has not brought the subject up with the 77-year-old.

He said: “I speak to him quite regularly at the club especially after games. But I don’t want to bring it up and say ‘I’m close to beating it’. He always gives me great advice and I have great chats with him.”

Rooney’s chances of breaking Charlton’s United scoring record were put into question when he was moved into midfield by Van Gaal, but the captain is now back up front, which pleases Roy Hodgson.

“We’re delighted to see him playing up front again for Manchester United because we have always used him as a front player,” the England manager said.

Rooney is happy to be leading the United attack again.

He added: “I’m sure in other games (Van Gaal) might put me back in midfield, but I’m delighted to be playing up front and scoring goals. It’s helping us win football matches.”