By Jamie Jackson in Shanghai / The Guardian
Wayne Rooney has compared José Mourinho to Sir Alex Ferguson, with Manchester United’s captain relishing working under the Portuguese as he did when the Scot managed the club. Rooney said he joined United from Everton in summer 2004 because Ferguson was in charge and he won all but one of his major honours while playing for him.
He believes Mourinho can have a similar impact on his career.
“I came to Manchester United because I wanted to work under Alex Ferguson and then in the latter years (with) what Mourinho has done in football, in Spain and Italy and England, he is a manager who you want to play under,” the 30-year-old said.
“He is one of the best around and to learn from what he brings it’s going to be exciting for me to try and learn under a manager such as himself.”
United are in Shanghai on their pre-season tour, where they lost the opening game 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund on Friday night. Rooney said: “I’ve been working under the manager for the last few days and the sessions have been very good. It is exciting, he is one of the best managers in world football and he has a clear idea of what he wants. I’m just looking forward to playing for him now.”
Mourinho is clear that Rooney will play as the No10 this season after operating in midfield under Louis van Gaal last term. “It’s almost like a free role and I am excited to play it,” Rooney said.
“He said to me about playing No 10. That is something I’ve now got to work on and get myself in the right position to score goals. I have scored goals all through my career and I have no doubt in my goalscoring ability. Hopefully I can do that this season. I like to be involved in the game and I am now playing for José who, straight away, has no fears about players coming deep if they want to. It’s a different way of playing, a different manager, different ideas and if I can bring my game and qualities to this team, then I know I can create chances and score goals.”
Rooney admitted that when Van Gaal was in charge goals were harder to score. “As the striker in the last couple of seasons, it has been difficult with not creating many chances,” said the Liverpudlian, whose 245 strikes place him four behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s record tally for United. “It will be the same as the England record. It will be a huge honour to become record scorer at this club. I have no doubt that it will happen this season. It will be a huge moment for me.”
Despite the plan being not to play on the tour Rooney signalled he may be involved against Manchester City in Beijing tomorrow. “I feel good so I want to get out back playing and I am sure I will play some part on Monday,” he said.
On 3 August Rooney has his testimonial at Old Trafford against Everton. “I am delighted to have been at this club for such a long time and I am really pleased the club have granted me a testimonial which will raise a lot of money for children’s charities so I am in a privileged position to do that,” he said.
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