On Soccer: Rooney Returns to Everton as a Champion but Not a Conqueror

And yet, Everton’s willingness to commit millions to restoring him to the fold has been characterized, at best, as a decision made with the heart rather than the head. At worst, it is seen as an expensive indulgence, a costly misstep, where Rooney’s presence is to Everton’s detriment and his absence to Manchester United’s considerable benefit. In part, of course, that is soccer, and sports generally: unforgiving, relentless, pathologically averse to sentimentality. The past does not provide credit for the future.

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Rooney in 2004 when he was a teenager for Everton, the team he is returning to.

Credit
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Rooney has faded, of course, and fast;…

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