Wayne Rooney has opened up about his secret two-day drinking binges as he struggled to cope with his fame at Man Utd.
The former England international burst onto the Premier League scene at the age of 16, earning himself a big-money move from Everton to Old Trafford in 2004.
Rooney went on to score 253 goals in 559 appearances for Man Utd during a trophy-laden 13-year spell at Old Trafford.
But Rooney has revealed how he would sit alone in his house for days on end drinking after being unprepared for life in the spotlight.
Rooney said in the Daily Mail: “I would actually lock myself away and just drink to try to take all that away from my mind.
“Locking myself away made me forget some of the issues I was dealing with. It was like a binge. Normally, that’s with a group of lads but this was a self-binge.
“I’d get a couple of days off and I wouldn’t want to be near anyone. I would sit in the house and for two days, I would just drink.”
“Then on the third day, when I was back in training, I would have to dust myself down and put eye drops in and get through that week’s training. I was in a really bad place.”
Rooney insisted that it would be impossible to share his issues with his team-mates ‘in the Man Utd dressing room’ at the time
The Man Utd legend added: “Now people would be more empowered to speak about that kind of thing…then you would suffer internally rather than letting your thoughts out…
“Growing up on a council estate, you would never actually go and speak to anyone. You would always find a way to deal with it yourself. It was trying to cope with it yourself rather than asking for help.”
Rooney also claimed that his problems with alcohol actually made him a more unpredictable on the pitch.
He continued: “It was almost as if being right in my head took a bit away from my game. Not being right in my head gave me that added unpredictability.
“I was always angry and aggressive when I was growing up. That was obvious when I came into football. It was obvious I had some issues which I had to try and deal with and now, thankfully, I have got them all under control.”