Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has described Sir Alex Ferguson as “the greatest manager of all time” and accepted that the duo had their differences during the Scot’s reign at Old Trafford.
The duo enjoyed a fractured relationship in Ferguson’s final year in-charge at Old Trafford, when the English striker played second fiddle to Dutch hit-man Robin van Persie.
The former Everton striker equaled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 international goals for England in the match against San Marino. In a recent interview, Sir Alex had praised Rooney and expressed his surprise that the 29-year-old scored as many goals as he did. When Ferguson signed Rooney from Everton for a record fee, he believed that Rooney would become a great footballer, but he didn’t believe that the English captain would become an out-and-out goalscorer.
Rooney was dropped for the crucial Champions League second leg against Real Madrid at Old Trafford after which the forward had requested for a transfer. Ferguson had revealed this exchange between the duo before United’s final game of that season.
“It’s not that we don’t like each other” – Rooney on Sir Alex
However, Rooney has accepted that there were difference of opinion between the two, but insisted that it was normal in football. Speaking in a recent interview, as quoted by The Telegraph, Rooney said:
a I don’t know if anyone knows how things ended (between us).
a We had differences (of opinion). That’s normal. Ask Roy (Hodgson), he’s had differences with other players. That’s part of football. I’m not the only person who had differences with Sir Alex Ferguson, but I can still sit here and say he was the greatest manager of all time.
a I still see Sir Alex quite a bit at games and he travels away to European games with us. It’s not that we don’t like each other. We just had differences. That’s normal.a
The Manchester United forward would be looking to break Bobby Charlton’s record as early as tonight, when the Three Lions take on Switzerland.