Former Manchester United team-mate says Rooney 'demanded' captaincy

Rio Ferdinand has been discussing the captaincy of Wayne Rooney at Manchester United.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been discussing the captaincy of Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford.

With Ryan Giggs retiring and the captaincy hierarchy of Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Ferdinand all departing Old Trafford for pastures new this summer Rooney was handed the captaincy ahead of Robin van Persie - many peoples favourite to receive the armband.

This summer saw the striker receive the honour of captaincy at both international and club level. Ferdinand, understands that feeling, having also captained Manchester United and England in the past.

The defender, who joined Premier League newbies QPR this summer, told the Manchester Evening News that Rooney's captaincy was the correct choice from Louis van Gaal:

"Wayne’s record demanded that he wears the Manchester United armband. He deserves it.

“Wayne has things to reach for still and the captaincy is another responsibility that will help him to get to those landmarks quicker. I think he needed it now. I have known what it is like to be at a club for a long time like Wayne and you need those little extras, that extra lift or kick on to push on again. I think it was something he was going to need over the coming years."

Ferdinand has also mentioned how captaincy affected him positively at times, and that it will bring out the best in Rooney:

"It brought the best out in me when I was playing I felt. I enjoyed it. It gave you a real sense of responsibility and I liked that. I embraced it. It will only enhance what Wayne is doing. I think he will embrace it too and it will bring out the best in him over time."

Rooney's captaincy was recently called into question after he was sent off for a professional foul against West Ham. But it seems one person who does have his back is his former team-mate.

If Rooney has similar loyalty from his players in the dressing room, then captaincy should be a walk in the park.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch