Wayne Rooney has spoken of his "pride" after being named Manchester United captain by new boss Louis Van Gaal.
The striker will take up the armband for Manchester United's first game of the Premier League season against Swansea following Nemanja Vidic's departure over the summer.
“It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club," Rooney exclusively told his official website. "It is a role I will perform with great pride. Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me. “
Rooney becomes the 27th English captain in Manchester United’s 136-year history and will be hoping to emulate club legends such as Sir Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson.
Having joined the Red Devils nearly a decade ago, the 28-year-old has vast experience of what it is like playing in a United shirt.
The forward averages 44 games a season in all competitions and has never played fewer than 37 in a year. This shows he has incredible stamina and toughness of character - a vital ingredient for a successful captain.
Rooney has scored 158 goals for United in 307 Premier League games. This record, better than a goal every two games, speaks for itself.
“For me it’s always very important the choice of captain,” said van Gaal on his appointment. “Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy.
"He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.”
The Dutch manager has given the role of vice-captain to Darren Fletcher, who he highly rates as a player.
"Darren is a natural leader,” said van Gaal. “He will captain the team when Wayne isn’t playing. Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne.”
Manchester United’s first Premier League fixture this season is against Swansea at Old Trafford, taking place tomorrow. Rooney wants to embrace the occasion.
He said: "I can’t wait to lead the team out on Saturday at Old Trafford in my first competitive match as club captain. It’s going to be a special moment for me.”
The Merseyside-born forward will hope to lead a United resurgence this year and get the club back where it belongs - in the Champions League and beyond.
You can like Wayne Rooney's official page on Facebook by clicking here.
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