Wayne Rooney: My top three Champions League moments
Wayne Rooney exclusive: My top three Champions League moments for Manchester United
Wayne Rooney has spoken to exclusively to GiveMeFootball about his favourite Champions League moments, on the eve of Manchester United's eagerly anticipated clash with Real Madrid.
Manchester United meet the Spanish champions at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, with Cristiano Ronaldo set to face his former club for the first time in the last 16 encounter.
Ronaldo reached the pinnacle of the competition during his spell at Old Trafford with victory over Chelsea in the final of 2008, but has been unable to better a semi-final spot since his transfer to Real Madrid.
Rooney, meanwhile, is a veteran of three Champions League final appearances - the last of which came at Wembley in 2011 - and the 27-year-old striker is likely to play a prominent role should Manchester United reach the Home of Football again.
The England forward scored in the defeat to Barcelona almost two years ago but, speaking to GiveMeFootball for his official Facebook page, Rooney says the 'unbelievable' feeling of finding the net in club football's most prestigious match was tarnished by the eventual result.
But if the loss to a Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona is one he would rather forget, what are Rooney's fondest memories of Champions League football? Here are his top three...
3. Manchester United 3-2 AC Milan - April 24, 2007
"My two goals against AC Milan in the semi-final at Old Trafford in 2007 was one of my favourite moments of my career. It was a massive game and to score two goals was brilliant."
Cristiano Ronaldo had provided Manchester United with a sixth minute lead in the last four tie with AC Milan in 2007, before Kaka was on target twice before half-time to tip the balance.
But Rooney restored parity around the hour mark, before sealing a first leg victory with a stoppage time winner.
2. Manchester United 6-2 Fenerbahce - September 29, 2004
"Hat-trick on my Manchester United debut. It was something I could only dream about, and do it on my debut at Old Trafford and at such a young age was something I will never forget."
Rooney announced himself on the European stage in the most spectacular of fashion, scoring arguably the most complete hat-trick of his distinguished career.
His first against Fenerbahce was a left-foot piledriver from the edge of the area, the second a low drive from distance and the third an expertly taken free-kick.
1. Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (United with 6-5 on penalties) - May 21, 2008
"Winning the Champions League is a massive achievement and one of the biggest in my career, something I’m really proud of."
United took the lead in Moscow courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo, but Frank Lampard's leveller ensured the final would head into extra time, before the match was to be decided by a penalty shootout.
Edwin van der Sar saved the decisive penalty from Nicolas Anelka in biblical conditions, to provide Rooney with one of the most treasured memories of his career.