Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney believes that Sir Alex Ferguson is the best manager in the history of football and thanked his former boss for handing him the opportunity to become an Old Trafford and Premier League legend, describing his former boss as the key to the transfer happening.
Speaking in an interview with the club’s official television station, MUTV, Rooney expressed his gratitude to Ferguson for taking the decision to pay a then record fee for a teenager to take him to the Red Devils from Everton in 2004.
Decade of dominance
The interview was part of a celebration of the ten-year mark since Rooney moved to Manchester United as a precocious 18-year-old, hailed as the saviour of English football following some remarkable displays from a player so young.
£30million was the price tag that Old Trafford officials paid up to land him after Ferguson hailed him as the biggest English talent at his age that the Scottish legend had seen during his time in the game.
Ferguson retired after leading the club to the Premier League title in his 27th season as the Manchester United manager in 2012 and Rooney was full of praise for the man who developed so many of the English games greatest talents.
“Sir Alex is an incredible person and manager. He helped me a lot, helped us all. He brought it all together and made us world champions,” said the 28-year-old.
“I’m really grateful for everything he’s done."
Rooney’s comments on Ferguson are being interpreted by much of the media as a sign that the pair have put aside differences that reportedly arose in the Scot’s last few years in charge at the club.
There had been rumours over the last three or four seasons that the striker could be on the brink of a transfer away from Old Trafford, but on both occasions he has stayed and signed a new long-term contract.
Now his praise of Ferguson suggests their relationship is back to where it was when he joined, and Rooney explained that the interest of Ferguson in him was crucial to convincing him to leave his boyhood club, the club he was a fervent supporter of, at such a young age.
“It was a great feeling — Sir Alex is the best manager there has been. For him to recognise my talent and want me to join this club was a great honour for me,” he added.
"Sir Alex was vitally important. You see his desire for the game. I’m grateful to him for having faith in me to bring me from Everton.”
Rooney’s last contract was signed under David Moyes - reportedly worth in the region of £300,000 per week - last season and the five-year length of it was the biggest indicator yet that he would be spending the rest of his career as a Red Devil.
Moyes’ reign was a total failure and the club finished seventh in the Premier League, meaning they would miss out on Champions League football for the first time in a long time, which ultimately led to the man Ferguson chose as his successor being sacked.
Louis van Gaal’s subsequent appointment has seen Rooney appointed as club captain, not to mention also becoming England captain, and he will be expected to lead a raft of new superstar signings that are being tipped to take the Old Trafford club back to the big time.