The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Sir Alex compares Rooney to Pele
Wayne Rooney emerged with a broken metatarsal and a reputation as the most exciting talent in world football the first time he graced Lisbon’s Estadio da Luz. On Wednesday he returns with Sir Alex Ferguson comparing the Manchester United forward to Pele. Ferguson is not one for hyperbole or trivial compliments, but as United take the first step on their road to Champions League redemption in Lisbon, Rooney’s incredible start to the season – 10 goals in six games for club and country – has even prompted the United manager to hitch himself to the Rooney bandwagon. With Rooney having been described as “more Argentinian or Brazilian than British” by Benfica coach Jorge Jesus, Ferguson responded by claiming he now sees similarities between the 25 year-old and Brazilian great Pele. “In terms of a Brazilian, if you look at Pele, he was a very aggressive attacker who could also look after himself and so can Rooney,” Ferguson said. “They have similarities that way: strength, speed, determination. “But he’s white,” Ferguson joked. “Completely white!”
Most of the papers have covered the Pele comparisons, while Ryan Giggs’ warning to Manchester City also takes up column inches. Giggs told MUTV recently that City could find Champions League football difficult, just as United had done back in the early 90s. “The test is the first season… you need the squad to handle it, so we will see if they can do what ourselves, Arsenal and Chelsea have done over the years.”