At just 20 years of age, Wayne Rooney is already one of the best footballers in the world. From his early years in Croxteth, his Premiership debut as a 16-year-old, his dramatic entrance on the international scene in Euro 2004, to the last kick of the 2006 World Cup, this is his amazing story so far.
All football pundits agree that for England to have any chance of victory at this summer's World Cup Rooney must be fit. It is a level of national expectation on one player the like of which has not been seen since Pele and Maradona steered Brazil and Argentina to World Cup glory.
What is the true story behind the most talked-about person in British football? Were there signs of things to come in his upbringing in the backstreets of Liverpool? What were the early influences that shaped his character? And how has the meteoric rise to fame and fortune affected this seemingly shy yet prodigiously gifted youngster? For the first time in his own words, Rooney opens up about the defining years of his life as the son of a working-class family, brought up in a council house with his Everton-mad family. There followed his first tentative steps in football, the triumphs and knockbacks along the way, the accolades that began to follow his every move as a young teenager, and destiny fulfilled on his Premiership debut for Everton at the tender age of 16.
He goes on to describe how his life changed irrevocably when Alex Ferguson and Manchester United came calling in the summer of 2004, his dazzling efforts for England in the European Championships, a private life never far from the tabloid headlines, and the real story behind his relationship with partner Colleen McLoughlin.
For World Cup 2006, Rooney will report in detail on every aspect of the tournament. He assesses the tension in the camp, particularly the frustration of those who don't make the final squad. He reveals who are his closest friends in the England set-up, as well as his views on England captain David Beckham and the outgoing Sven-Goran Eriksson.
The story so far. In Rooney's own words. From the streets of Croxteth to the stadiums of Germany - a journey of a lifetime squeezed into a mere twenty years.