Since making his £27m move from Everton to Manchester United in August 2004, Wayne Rooney has partnered a host of world-class strikers. But which five rank as the best?
5. Robin van Persie
The Dutchman was welcomed by Rooney with open arms when he chose Old Trafford to be his new home. The arrival of Van Persie was considered a threat for Rooney and it was believed that it could be a signal for the beginning of the end for the England international. But it’s now a totally different story. The duo have a combined tally of 37 goals and 21 assists in all competitions. Manchester United have scored the most goals in the Premier League this season because of the lethal partnership and understanding between the pair. It will be interesting to see how this partnership blossoms in the future.
4. Ruud van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy was another Dutchman who enjoyed playing with the 27-year-old. The former Real Madrid man was a striking sensation during his time at Old Trafford and is still regarded highly by the fans. Rooney inherited United’s number 10 jersey from Van Nistelrooy. Both the players shared a great chemistry on the pitch and combined to produce goals when they were needed. Van Nistelrooy scored a total of 150 goals for the Red Devils and Rooney has now bagged a total of 195 goals and is the fourth highest scorer in the club’s history.
3. Dimitar Berbatov
Berbatov switched his home from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford in the summer of 2008. It was again Rooney who changed his style of play and accommodated with the new striker. Berbatov was successful in winning the Premier League title twice. The pair shared a magical understanding, while the Bulgarian went on to win golden boot in 2011. The duo helped lead United to a record 19th league title in 2011.
2. Carlos Tevez
It was believed that the Argentine and the Englishman would be a flop together. But the two players hit it off and transformed the squad into a treble winning one. In his two-year stay at the red side of Manchester, Tevez scored 34 goals, out of which a lot were down to his partnership with Ronaldo and Rooney. Tevez gave United fans something to remember him about: the coveted Champions League trophy. But he left on a bitter note and joined the City rivals, Manchester City and was seen to carry anti-Ferguson banners at the Etihad.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo and Rooney made an alliance in 2004 and the rest is history. A lot of ups and downs marked their journey towards glory. The controversy at the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals was believed to have damaged their friendship but, to the contrary, the duo took it as a mission to reach the zenith. Cristiano broke goalscoring records in the 2007/08 season and more than half of the goals were courtesy of Rooney. It would not be wrong to say that they comprised one of the best striking partnerships ever seen.
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