Football

Rooney.

Why Manchester United won't pay a special tribute to Wayne Rooney on his return

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Wayne Rooney will return to Old Trafford this afternoon for the first time since leaving Manchester United.

Rooney swapped United for his boyhood club, Everton, this summer after establishing himself as a legend at the Theatre of Dreams.

At the Red Devils, Rooney became the club’s record goalscorer with 253 goals whilst he got his hands on five Premier League titles and a Champions League.

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Despite all of that, some United fans will hesitate when naming him amongst former greats such as Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

Nevertheless, he will no doubt receive a heroes' reception from the crowd this afternoon.

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However, if he was hoping for a fanfare from the club, he will be sadly mistaken.

According to the Daily Mail, United have decided against a guard of honour or club presentation and there is no particular tribute to Rooney in the matchday programme.

Why?

Because of what happened when United did a similar thing to Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013.

FBL-EUR-C1-MAN UTD-REAL MADRID

When Ronaldo returned with Real Madrid in a Champions League match against United, Alex Ferguson hoped the emotion of the occasion would distract him.

The club built up the return of the Portuguese superstar and Ferguson asked the stadium broadcaster to announce the Madrid’s line-up second so it ended with Ronaldo's name - which generated a giant roar throughout the stadium.

It didn’t work, though, as Ronaldo ended up scoring the winning goal to knock out Ferguson’s side.

Manchester United v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

And they don't want a repeat with Rooney.

The front cover of the matchday programme belongs to Romelu Lukaku - not Rooney - and, although there is a mention of his return, there is no special tribute.

Koeman on Rooney

While United won’t be paying a massive tribute to Rooney, his current boss Ronald Koeman did just that ahead of the match

"He made a big contribution for Man United. At that time they had a lot of good players like Giggs. The quality in that team was incredible and he was part of that," said Koeman.

Everton Unveil New Signing Wayne Rooney

"He was English, he was young, he was scoring goals, he was a creative player and with more experience he was also important for the team and for the dressing room.

"Finally he chose Everton because he thought he didn't get enough game time and came back home and that is what happened to Wayne. Still, he is that player."

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Topics:
Paul Scholes
Everton
Ryan Giggs
Rio Ferdinand
Wayne Rooney
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
La Liga

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