Monday 16 January 2017

History will show Rooney's greatness - Ferdinand

Michael Verney

Published 06/11/2015 | 02:30

Rio Ferdinand was in Dublin yesterday
Rio Ferdinand was in Dublin yesterday

Rio Ferdinand has backed former Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney to bounce back to form and believes his remarkable Old Trafford legacy will only be appreciated after his retirement.

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The United captain has come under fire in recent months with manager Louis van Gaal also criticised for continually selecting his misfiring striker.

But Ferdinand, speaking as a BT Sport ambassador at the Web Summit in Dublin, praised Rooney's achievements and doesn't expect disparaging remarks to affect his confidence.

"Wayne won't be bothered by any of the criticism thrown his way, no top players are. Nobody's career just goes steady the whole time unless you're Messi or Ronaldo," he said.

"Even Ronaldo went four games where he didn't score this season and people were calling for him to leave Real Madrid. That's just mad.

"Rooney will be the same. He'll have been frustrated and eager to score goals but when he retires then he'll be appreciated more.

"Anyone else would have a statue outside Wembley already. He's top goalscorer for England and he's going to break the record for Man United, barring injury.

Ferdinand admits that media talk did catch his attention as a player but he always tried to use it as motivation to perform.

"My way of dealing with that was winning. In Fergie's last year we won the league. The year before people were writing me off," he said.

"People were saying I shouldn't be playing. We won the league and I was in the PFA Team of the Year. That was my way of giving them the two fingers." However, the former England skipper did echo the sentiments of Red Devils legend Paul Scholes regarding United's lack of creativity.

He said: "They are not creating chances, that's what the statistics will tell you. If they don't create chances they won't get goals. You have got to create chances to give people the chance to score and Man United haven't been doing that."

Ferdinand is now mixing soccer punditry with attaining his professional coaching badges and has ambitions to go into management in the future.

The 36-year-old's trophy-laden career ended on a sour note last season with a dismal year at Queens Park Rangers, something he expects to aid his managerial career.

"QPR were rubbish. We didn't play well. When you go from a club where the whole place is built to win and be successful - the drive, the intensity, the expectations aren't the same," he admitted.

"I was in a bubble at Man United for 12 years and it was autopilot success and it was hard work but you don't think about it.

"It will hold me in good stead if I go into management. Before that, it would have taken me six months to work out the difference in mentality and you don't get that long."

His transition from professional football to retirement has been "seamless", but the game he loves will always be a huge part of his life.

"A lot of people wait till they retire and think s*** what am I going to do now?" he said

"Football is at the root of everything I've done and want to do, it's my biggest passion."

Irish Independent

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