17 September 2014 09:37
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney extended the olive branch to former boss Alex Ferguson, calling him “the best manager there’s been”.
Rooney, 28, came to Old Trafford in 2004 on Ferguson’s insistence, the Scot signing the then-teenager for £25.6million from Everton.
And despite falling out with the legendary manager on multiple occasions, Rooney admitted Ferguson – who took United to 13 Premier League, five FA Cup and two UEFA Champions League titles – was an inspiration to a generation at the club.
“At the time, I came into the squad as a young lad and there were a few other young lads. He brought all that together and made us world club champions,” Rooney told MUTV for an interview to mark a decade at the club.
“I’m very grateful for everything he’s done. It was a great feeling.
“Sir Alex is the best manager there’s been and for him to recognise my talent and want me to join this club was a great honour for me.
“He drove me over [to Old Trafford], just the two of us in his car. I remember being nervous but he was great and made me feel comfortable.”
Rooney, now club captain under Dutch tactician Louis van Gaal, said he was grateful for Ferguson’s decision to bring him to the club.
“He was vitally important,” the England striker said.
“I’m grateful to him for having the faith to bring me in from Everton. I think he’s an incredible person and manager, the way you see his desire for the game.
“He certainly helped me a lot and helped us all.”
And having wanted out on multiple occasions under the Scot, Rooney does not foresee any similar tantrums arising in the future.
“I think the plan is, I’ve just signed new long-term deal at the club and hopefully in five years’ time we’ll be sat down for a 15-year one [interview].
“I don’t see any reason why not.”