Rooney set for Old Trafford return
Jose Mourinho has described Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney as
“a real legend for this club” ahead of the striker’s first return to Old Trafford with Everton on Sunday.
Sunday's Premier League match will be Rooney's first trip back at his previous home and Jose believes the player will be afforded a great reception by the fans.
“Sometimes the word 'legend' is used too easily but that's not this case. He's a real legend in the club,”the boss told MUTV.
“The numbers speak by themselves. He's obviously a legend for this club and for sure he's going to get the welcome he deserves.”
Asked whether the pair would have a pre-match catch up before kick-off, the manager added:
“I think before the game with an obvious hug because we've been friends. But we'll talk after the match when the players' dressing room and my office are open for him. He doesn't even need to knock on the door.”
At his press conference, Mourinho added that he felt the reception towards Rooney will inevitably change once the match kicks off.
“The stadium will show him the respect that he deserves, I hope, before the match and after the match,”said Jose.
“Not during the match. During the match, he is an Everton player who wants to win the game.”
“For me, he's a legend. He was such a big player for us and a big personality. I remember when I first came here and how he was just a normal guy. He gave me a very warm welcome, as he did to everyone. Not only did he perform on the pitch but, off the pitch, he was a real captain and good person in the dressing room.”
“Wayne leaving the club is a big deal and he has been such a massive part of this club since he first set foot in it and since making his debut, an incredible debut. I am sad to see him go. I understand why he has gone and we all fully support him and wish him well because he has been an unbelievable servant to the club and has left a legacy that is incredible. We had some great times but everything comes to an end unfortunately. I am sure he will go on to have a successful end to his career, but he will certainly be missed by a lot of us here.”
“Obviously, he's a legend and the record goalscorer, so the reception will be massive from our fans. He was a great guy to be around, especially when I was in the team as a youngster. He gave me a lot of advice, and passed on a lot of his experience. He helped me through games. Sometimes it's hard to get that game management right, but Wazza was there to help guide me through. He was always around to look after the younger lads and he was one of the most vocal of the senior lads.”
“For me, Wayne is one of the biggest legends of Manchester. He left a mark on all of the fans. He scored many goals. He really helped me out, especially when I first arrived. Even when he occasionally played less, he was always there helping me out. He was an exemplary captain.”
“I hope Old Trafford will welcome him as he deserves. It will be weird to see Wayne playing with a different shirt, to be honest, but this is the decision he made last summer and we wish him the best of luck.”
“Wayne spent eight seasons at United while I was here. He is an amazing player, winning five Premier League titles. He is a player who knows what he wants. He is a champion. I am sad that he has left but I wish him the best of luck. We will miss him in the changing room and we are wishing him the best.”
“Obviously, he broke Sir Bobby's record and some think he may have achieved legendary status [because of that] but he's had that, in my opinion, for years. What he's done in the game has been unbelievable. When I joined the club, he was one of the first people who took me under his wing. We'd played for England together before but, still, for someone that influential to want to help you as soon as you walk through that door makes you feel at ease. He did that with me and I'll be forever grateful for that.”