Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has sent a Chinese New Year video message to his fans on the other side of the world.
The England international has been in the headlines since Monday following the Red Devils’ 3-1 win over Preston North End, with the forward at the centre of a diving controversy after winning a second-half penalty in the FA Cup fifth round clash.
LVG's favourite restaurant?
But Rooney appears to have put that behind him in this video, posted on his official Facebook page, as he takes part in a number of challenges at Wing’s restaurant. It’s obviously a popular choice, as you might be able to spot a plate signed by Louis van Gaal in the background after 23 seconds.
He wrote on Facebook: "Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, here's a video I created with Red Lantern Digital Media to celebrate and learn more about it. There's paper cutting, lion dancing, a Q&A and also a competition to win a pair of my signed boots!”
You can watch the video and enter the competition on his Facebook page by CLICKING HERE
In the video, Rooney shows a softer side rarely seen on camera, with the 29-year-old appearing relaxed as he takes part in some comedy challenges alongside some fans. He gets involved, answers questions and generally seems like a happy man.
Why we don’t get to see this side of professional footballers more often is quite baffling, because it makes them seem more real to the millions of fans who support them. In Rooney’s case, that’s 26 million on Facebook alone.
He's one of the biggest football players on Facebook, and is not alone in trying to give followers a glimpse of 'the real person'. Whilst this has been put together with a media company, it's clear that Rooney was at ease and enjoying himself.
More of the same, please
Rooney's image is a particularly interesting conundrum. On the pitch, he's a fiery character desperate to win. Off the pitch, he's regularly snapped relaxing with his children. He's known to be a big fan of Coronation Street.
At a time when people want to see the 'real' footballer, this has taken a step in the right direction for Rooney. The video is enjoyable to watch because the man at the centre of it is having a good time. It's not forced.
Let's see more of the same, and not just from Rooney.