Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross recalls time he partnered Rooney and Ronaldo up front

Ryan Shawcross

Ryan Shawcross started his career at Manchester United and recalls the day he was asked to go up front for the Red Devils.

Having spent the majority of his senior career with Stoke City, it’s easy to forget that defender Ryan Shawcross started his career with Manchester United.

However, the 27-year-old offered up a rare titbit from his time at Old Trafford this week while simultaneously congratulating former teammate and Red Devils legend Wayne Rooney.

Rooney set a new all-time scoring record for the England national team this week with a goal against Switzerland in the Three Lions' 2-0 win.

And speaking to The Stoke Sentinel, the Stoke captain was not only full of praise for Rooney’s achievement, but also predicted more goals to come.

"I think by the time he hangs up his boots the record will be almost unbreakable,” he said.

Yet away from the subject of England, Shawcross was also able to recall the time he was asked to go up front for Manchester United alongside both Rooney and another United legend.

"The second game I played for United, I came on up front with Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo,” he said.

“It was a great experience to play with them."

The game in question was a famous League Cup tie against Southend in November 2006.

Brought on in the 90th minute, then manager Sir Alex Ferguson evidently hoped Shawcross’ aerial presence would help turn the tide.

But it was not to be, with the Red Devils dumped out in a 1-0 defeat, with the game settled by a single goal from Freddy Eastwood.

Fortunately Rooney, Ronaldo and Shawcross would go on to bigger and better things.

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