Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ferguson, Moyes Hail Rooney Ahead of Testimonial Match

Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney will take centre stage at Old Trafford on Wednesday night for an emotional tribute against Everton.

With five Premier League titles and a Champions League crown after his £27million signing from Everton 12 years ago, Rooney has fulfilled all the promise he offered as an 18-year-old when legendary United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson brought him to Old Trafford.

Ahead of tonight’s testimonial that will raise millions for children’s charities chosen by Rooney, Ferguson, who has made peace with the player, explained how he ditched his own retirement plans back in 2004 and immediately set about signing him to “bring energy” back into the team, Mirror writes.

“I always think that great players can play in any era; Bobby Charlton would have been a great player today and Wayne Rooney would have been a great player back then.

“Wayne came in as a first-team player right away, even though he was only 18, and he’s gone on to play for Manchester United for 12 years, which is very difficult in the present day.”

Rooney had burst onto the first team scene with some spectacular goals for Everton and played for England aged 17, and Ferguson has hailed his impact at Old Trafford.

“When you make the decision to retire, you stop thinking, but once I decided to stay I started thinking again and it was really centred around bringing energy back into the team by looking at young players. Of course there was Cristiano Ronaldo, then there was Rooney, and it was a fantastic period. The two of them were unbelievable.”

“When I got the Everton job, I remember someone saying to me that we had a kid who was really good, and I just thought: ‘Yeah, I’ve heard that before.’

“But the next month, I went to watch the Youth Cup semi-final against Tottenham and Wayne played. He was outstanding. He scored and I said to him after the game that he would be with the first team the next season.”

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be making his Old Trafford debut with tonight’s match.

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