Football

Rooney is a 'born winner', says Manchester United teammate

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has lavished praise on club and international teammate Wayne Rooney.

Smalling believes Rooney will play an important role in Manchester United's quest to compete for both the Champions League and Premier League.

The 24-year-old, who has the privilege of playing with Rooney for club and country, has tipped his teammate to help Manchester United seal qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League.

"Wayne is a top player and he trains how he plays," said Smalling.

"What you see on a Saturday afternoon is what we face every day in training.

"You can see the hunger and passion he has when he plays, and that breeds through the changing room before games, at half-time and at full-time.

"He's just a born winner and that has an effect on the whole squad."

Manchester United can seal progression out of the group stages on Wednesday as Group A leaders if they can claim all three points against Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in Germany.

David Moyes' side will be particularly reliant on Rooney tonight, as Manchester United forward Robin van Persie did not travel with the rest of the squad as he is currently nursing a groin injury.

Smalling, on the other hand, may drop to the substitutes' bench as first choice right-back Rafael da Silva is back in contention.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Chris Smalling
Wayne Rooney

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