Wayne Rooney has hailed his former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as the greatest manager of all time.
Rooney made the comment after Ferguson praised the 30-year-old in an interview with ITV Sport prior to England’s 6-0 win over San Marino last Saturday.
The relationship between the two men was left strained after Ferguson publicly accused Rooney of asking to leave Manchester United at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, but it seems the hatchet has finally been buried.
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“I don't know if anyone knows how things ended (between us),” Rooney was quoted as saying by the Telegraph. “We had differences (of opinion). That's normal. Ask Roy (Hodgson), he's had differences with other players. That's part of football. I'm not the only person who had differences with Sir Alex Ferguson, but I can still sit here and say he was the greatest manager of all time.
“I still see Sir Alex quite a bit at games and he travels away to European games with us. It's not that we don't like each other. We just had differences. That's normal.”
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Rooney denied second transfer request
Rooney strenuously denied submitting a second transfer request - his first, which he later described as his ‘biggest mistake’, came in September 2010 - but Ferguson was adamant that the forward had “asked away”.
The legendary Scottish manager repeated the claim in his autobiography, released in October 2013, in which he described in detail what happened shortly before he brought an end to his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford.
"Wayne asked away because he felt he was playing out of position," Ferguson wrote in his book according to Sky Sports. "I can understand that. As a player myself, I was dropped at a quarter past two before a Scottish Cup Final - and I was the top-scorer.
"I wanted to know why - and I had a heated discussion with the manager that day.
"So for Wayne to come and say he was disappointed to be played out of position - I can understand it.
"But my judgement was that Wayne wasn't playing well enough.”
Rooney must improve to continue upfront
Perhaps Louis van Gaal will do something similar after the international break. Barring a hat-trick against Club Brugge in the Champions League play-off round, Rooney has been well below-par at the start of this season.
The United and England captain, who will surpass Sir Bobby Charlton as his country’s all-time top scorer if he finds the net against Switzerland this evening, must improve his displays upfront in order to continue as the Red Devils’ first-choice centre-forward.
Manchester United fans: should Wayne Rooney continue to play upfront - or would you play Anthony Martial or James Wilson in that position? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!