Wayne Rooney explains inspiration for Panenka penalty in Derby draw

Wayne Rooney scored the opening goal for Derby County against Fulham on Friday with his first-ever Panenka penalty.

The Manchester United legend celebrated his 500th appearance in English league football with the nonchalant effort which beat the impressive Marek Rodak.

Despite dispatching 23 of 33 penalties during his time in the Premier League, the former Three Lions skipper has never attempted the iconic chipped finish, and he later mentioned the element of surprise as his inspiration

“I haven't done that (the Panenka) in my career,” said Rooney after Aleksandar Mitrovic secured a 1-1 draw for the away side.

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“I know goalkeepers study penalties, it is something different but it is a surprise to the keeper and thankfully it went in.”

He later added of his landmark appearances: “There are still more games to come [after 500].

“I feel fine, still enjoying the game. It is 500 but I'll celebrate when I finish playing.”

Derby boss Phillip Coco then added: “He is a link between the technical staff and the team.

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“He helps young players and it is a pleasure to have a player of his ability, quality and also personality.”

The 34-year-old joined the Rams from DC United in January and has scored four goals in his first 12 outings.

The former striker is now deployed in midfield as a creator, with Fulham boss Scott Parker aware of the difference his former international team-mate has made at Pride Park.

He said: “He’s had a massive impact since he’s been here, it’s no surprise Derby’s upturn in form has coincided with Wayne coming to the club.

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“I have no doubt, I don’t know looking in from the outside, but when you bring in a player of Wayne Rooney’s calibre, you’re not just talking about his technique because that’s there for everyone to see.

“But you bring a player into the building that has a mentality of knowing what it is about and driving standards every single day and he’s probably scooping a few up along the way.

“That’s what you get and obviously at times tonight you see his quality as well. He’s had to adapt his game but you often find that the world-class players can do that.

“They understand they can’t do what they used to but they quickly work out and find a way to be effective and Wayne’s certainly done that.”

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