Wayne Rooney has spoken of his pride at being named the new captain of Manchester United, with the striker confirmed by Louis van Gaal as his chosen long-term successor to the departed Nemanja Vidic.
Rooney wore the armband in each of Manchester United’s two final pre-season fixtures, wins over both Liverpool and Valencia, and impressed his new manager enough to earn the position on a permanent basis.
"Walking out last night as captain of Manchester United was an unbelievably proud moment for me and my family,” Rooney posted on his official Facebook page in response to the announcement.
“It’s a huge honour for me to captain this great club and I will take great pride in doing so.
“I would like to thank all the fans for their support, I am looking forward to the exciting times ahead and leading their club to more success.”
Rooney had long been expected to become the club’s new captain following the announcement that Vidic would leave this summer, although what had appeared a forgone conclusion became uncertain following the departure of David Moyes.
With Van Gaal appointed as the replacement for Moyes, it was Robin van Persie who emerged as the leading contender to be named skipper given that he had been handed this duty for the Netherlands.
But with Van Persie given an extended holiday following his post World Cup exertions, Rooney was able to use this as an opportunity to really highlight his own credentials to the former Bayern Munich manager.
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Leading by example
Rooney certainly led by example during Manchester United’s tour of the USA, scoring five goals to earn himself the International Champions Cup MVP award as his side triumphed in the competition.
The 28-year-old does, of course, have some significant captaincy experience with both Manchester United and England, and would seem to be the favourite to also take the armband for his country following the retirement of Steven Gerrard.