Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has finally confirmed who his captain will be for the 2014-15 season: Wayne Rooney.
The Dutchman made the announcement on Tuesday following the Red Devils’ 2-1 victory over Valencia in a pre-season friendly at Old Trafford.
It was also Van Gaal’s first game in charge of the Manchester outfit in front of the home fans.
‘For me it's always very important the choice of captain’, United’s official website quotes the 63-year-old as saying. ‘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’.
Rooney himself expressed his delight with the opportunity to captain England’s biggest club.
‘It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club’, said the 28-year-old England international. ‘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. I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season’.
Rooney has been at United since 2004 and is one of the best strikers in the world. The former Everton star has been crucial in the Red Devils winning the Premier League five times, the League Cup twice, and the Champions League once in the last 10 years.
The veteran has been picked to wear the captain’s armband for United ahead of Van Gaal’s compatriot and star striker Robin van Persie.
The Netherlands international was the Arsenal skipper when he made the move to Old Trafford in the summer of 2012 and a key player in their Premier League triumph in 2012-13.
Following the announcement, United fans took to social networking site Twitter to have their say on the matter.
Not all of the club’s supporters were pleased with the decision, pointing out that Rooney tried to force through a move out of Old Trafford in the past and so does not deserve to be the team captain.
Here is a selection of the United fans’ tweets. We have also included reactions of supporters of other clubs to gauge how they view Van Gaal’s big decision.
My only concern about #Rooney as captain is his off the field behaviour. On the field, I can't fault him. I wonder how RVP is taking this?— Harnaik Birring (@HBirring) August 13, 2014
Louis van Gaal wants the Man U squad to follow the example of new captain Wayne Rooney. He'll be getting 23 transfer requests. #Rooney— Garth ApThomas (@garthjourno) August 13, 2014
At times he almost tries to hard, but I want a captain who will lead by example and pick up the slack left behind by the rest #Rooney— Moonshine Distillery (@marvp18) August 13, 2014