Wednesday 28 June 2017

Rooney casts a shock vote in FIFA's Coach of the Year poll

England captain Wayne Rooney
England captain Wayne Rooney
Jurgen Klopp
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has thrown up an unexpected vote as he was asked to select his top managers for 2016 - with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp among his top three.

England captain Rooney must have known that his selection would cause a stir as he named Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri as his top manager in a year when his club managers Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho did not do enough to secure his nomination.

He also offered up a vote for Wales manager Chris Coleman after he led his nation to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, but it is his nomination of Klopp that will cause plenty of discussion ahead of United’s game against Liverpool at Old Trafford this weekend.

Liverpool-born Rooney has long been a passionate supporter of his first club Everton, but he has clearly been impressed by the impact Klopp has made in his first year at Anfield as he named him among his top three.

Despite failing to win at trophy for Liverpool in 2016 and failing to guide the club into a European competition last season, Klopp secured seventh place in the voting as FIFA staged their first The Best awards in Zurich.

Real Madrid boss Zinezine Zidane was second in the voting behind Ranieri after he guided his side to Champions League glory and a sparkling start to the Spanish season, while Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was 10th after his fine year in the Premier League.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and captain Seamus Coleman voted for Ranieri as his top coach of 2016 and while the affable Italian tactician deserved all the plaudits after his remarkable success with Leicester, Rooney may be a little wary of his bumping into Mourinho at United's training ground on Thursday after his glowing endorsement for the man in charge of one of United’s chief rivals.

 A full list of the votes cast by managers and captains of international teams can be seen here

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