Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has spoken to GiveMeFootball in an exclusive interview for his official Facebook page ahead of tomorrow night’s Champions League clash against Real Madrid.
The 27-year-old is facing Real Madrid for the first time in his career, with the Red Devils being drawn against Los Blancos in the last 16 of the competition.
And, ahead of the trip to the Spanish capital, Rooney revealed his excitement about the match-up and discussed his last visit to the Santiago Bernabeu. He also gives an interesting insight into staying focused and dealing with pressure, as well as discussing the importance of Sunday’s win against Everton in the Premier League.
Part One of the interview is below, with two more to follow on GiveMeFootball in the lead-up to the big game…
You will face Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday in the Champions League - is this a game you’re excited about?
Yes I’m really excited about playing Madrid in probably the biggest club competition in the world; it should be a great game with two great teams.
I’m sure it’s going to be very tough but we need to make sure we are focused and ready, it should be very entertaining for the fans.
You have played at The Santiago Bernabeu once before, what was that like?
Yes I’ve played at the Bernabeu once before for England against Spain, but it wasn’t a good experience to be honest. I got subbed just before half time, and didn’t really get many touches because Spain kept the ball really well.
Hopefully this time it will go a lot better.
Do you ever get nervous before such a game - how do you stay focused with all the publicity and pressure?
Of course everyone gets nervous before games and although there’s nerves there once I get on the pitch I’m just focused on playing the game as best as I can and keeping my concentration.
I’ve played in the Champions League for a number of years now and I’ve learnt to deal with the pressure that these big games bring. As a team, keeping our concentration and focus will be one of our main priorities if we are to get anything from the game.
How important was the win against Everton on Sunday?
To beat Everton on Sunday was massive for us, we had to make sure we got the three points and went 12 points clear at the top.
This is always a tough fixture but it was a steady performance, and once we went in front the determination from us not to concede a goal was there for all to see. Thankfully we got the result and it puts us in a great position.
In part two of the interview, Rooney names his Top Three moments in the Champions League, before a closer look at the players in the Real Madrid team on Wednesday morning. Both pieces will be on GiveMeFootball first.