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Six years ago, when similar claims were splashed across the newspapers, the then-teenaged Rooney confessed to visiting prostitutes, expressed deep regret and trotted out the excuse that “it was the sort of mistake you make when you are young and stupid,” the BBC and others reported back then.

That explanation won’t work now.

He turns 25 next month so he is no longer that young.

But if he hasn’t learned from previous errors, then he is still stupid.

And no amount of goals could change that.

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John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at)ap.org