Football

Wayne Rooney aims dig at Liverpool during Manchester United award speech

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Louis van Gaal's bizarre speech at Manchester United's award ceremony last night may have garnered most of the headlines, but Wayne Rooney landed perhaps the blow of the night at the expense of rivals Liverpool.

David de Gea was the big winner last night, scooping two prizes despite doubts over his future at Old Trafford, while Van Gaal almost broke the internet thanks to his rambling speech which included thanking a saxophonist - so in many ways it's no surprise that Rooney's remark went under the radar.

The Manchester United striker was giving an interview on stage with TV presenter Jim Rosenthal when he was asked about the importance at securing a return to the Champions League after missing out last season.

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Rooney, who came through the ranks with Liverpool's rivals Everton, didn't miss the chance to aim a dig at the Reds, who have only made it into Europe's top club competition once in the last six years.

He said: “If you look at Liverpool who have been out of it for years, which is no shame…” - a remark which prompted more than a few laughs in the audience.

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Rooney has had a fine season with one game remaining, seeing off competition from both Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao to claim the lone striker spot for himself, and managing 12 goals in 32 appearances.

Van Gaal revealed Rooney's role in the Manchester United team extended beyond scoring goals, explaining how the England international motivated his team-mates to make it into the top four and challenge at the top again.

Meetings

"I remember the meeting with the players with the captain Wayne Rooney, who's saying 'we go for the second position in the league' and I said: 'YESSS! We go for it!'"

He added: "You remember away game against Chelsea? At that time, we had 50 points and Wayne Rooney sat in the dressing-room and said: 'We go for second place'. He said that, second position in the league table.

"Then six games in a row we won, then we go to Chelsea. Who were the better team then? It's easy to say that now, in this room. I can believe it, but it's the truth. But we lost. We lost that game but can you imagine, when you have 80 per cent ball possession, 10 big possibilities, and they have three, they have three, and they win the game."

Opinion

Wayne Rooney's relatively low goal tally has gone a little unnoticed this season. Manchester United struggled as a team early on in the season which explains his slow start, but he's managed just one in his last seven and didn't find the back of the net between December 27 and February 16.

His fallow season isn't anything to worry about just yet though - indeed it probably says more about the competition than anything else. 

Should Rooney be Manchester United's number one striker next season?

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Liverpool

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