Scoring his 500th career goal at the weekend for Derby, Wayne Rooney did so by delightfully chipping a penalty straight down the middle past young Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodák.
The 23-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Rotherham, replaced Marcus Bettinelli in October between the sticks, and, red card suspension for the Hull City game in November aside, has become the number one at Craven Cottage.
The game against Derby ended 1-1, with Rodák unable to save Rooney’s spot kick despite studying intensively the former Manchester United forward ahead of the fixture.
Speaking to Nové Čas in Slovakia, he said: “He buried about ten penalties, mostly to the right. I went there. He finally decided on the Panenka. After the match, he admitted that it was the first time time he’d done that in his career. I guess he wanted to try something new”.
Despite being unable to save Rooney’s penalty, Rodák still made a number of saves throughout the game that allowed Fulham to walk away with a point, and the former England international took time to congratulate the goalkeeper after the game.
The goalkeeper continued: “After the match, we had a joint interview for Sky. He praised me for several good interventions. It was nice to hear such words from the big English football icon. I could have swapped jerseys with him, but since I don’t collect them, it didn’t come to that”.
Since taking over from Bettinelli under Scott Parker, Rodák has made 21 Championship appearances for Fulham, conceding 22 goals and keeping eight clean sheets.