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Rooney should stay a Red: Van der Sar

FORMER Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar does not believe Wayne Rooney needs a change of scenery to get back to his best in front of goal.

The 27-year-old striker has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford since it was revealed he had a transfer request rejected by the Premier League champions towards the end of the season.

Big-spending Paris St Germain are reported to be interested in signing the England international but his former team-mate Van der Sar, who is now a marketing director with Dutch giants Ajax, feels Rooney could find a new lease of life under incoming United manager David Moyes.

The Dutchman said: "There has been so much pressure on him, you build him up and put all your money on him to make England world or European champions.

"So it's also quite easy to cut him down again. Players have indifferent seasons and maybe Wayne's been overtaken by Robin van Persie this year but it's the hard work that he puts in for the team (that should be recognised)."

 

Lesser season

Rooney scored 12 league goals to summer signing Van Persie's personal haul of 26 in the 2012/13 campaign.

"It was maybe a lesser season (for Rooney) and he didn't play the last couple of games but he's really important for United," Van der Sar added.

"English players tend to stay in England to play their football and rightly so because you have big clubs, the tradition and the stadiums are always full.

"With the change of manager and backroom staff it could be a big change for Manchester United but I don't think you'll find a better atmosphere at many other clubs."

Meanwhile, a crowd of over 60,000 turned out to see a team of United legends take on their Real Madrid counterparts at Old Trafford.

Ruud van Nistelrooy, who represented both teams, lifted the noise levels when equalising for the Reds after Fernando Morientes' opener.

But after Dwight Yorke had hit the bar, Ruben de la Red netted seconds later to ensure the Spanish side not only won 2-1, but 5-3 on aggregate following the first fixture at the Bernabeu.

Zinedine Zidane received a respectful reception before kick-off but mistimed an early flick and was beaten by a nice piece of skill from Paul Scholes that delighted the crowd.

Real started to make in-roads to Van der Sar's goal but Ivan Helguera headed badly wide.

Jaap Stam, drew cheers by outmuscling Zidane on one occasion but the Frenchman remained the most influential player on the pitch, skewing a volley well off target.

 

Deadlock

Ronny Johnsen was fortunate not to concede a penalty after a tangle with Salgado before Morientes struck.

With six minutes of the first half remaining, the former Liverpool centre-forward collected a pass from Claude Makelele and found the bottom corner of the net.

Van Nistelrooy then switched sides at the half-time interval.

Latching onto a pass down the right by Yorke, he rampaged into the box and smashed a shot high into the net past Carlos Sanchez.

Real attacked at the other end and Morientes' disguised pass let in De la Red, who craftily chipped substitute keeper Raimond van der Gouw to wrap up the win.

However, the result was not of importance with a bumper crowd raising over £800,000 for United's Red Heart charity.


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