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Wayne wants United legend status

Wayne Rooney is already well on his way to emulating David Beckham as a Manchester United legend.

Rooney noticed the way Beckham was afforded a standing ovation when he made his way onto the Old Trafford pitch on Wednesday and then received an even more emotional reception as he made his way off the field following AC Milan's four-goal trouncing.

United supporters will never forget Beckham's contribution to six Premier League titles and that unprecedented treble-winning campaign in 1999.

And, having previously declared no interest in wishing to leave United, Rooney hopes to be held in similar affection by the Red Devils faithful.

"David Beckham was a great servant for this club and we were all delighted with the reception," said Rooney.

"I have plenty of years ahead of me but if I can get half the plaudits he has I will be very happy."

Rooney is doing pretty well in that regard given his brace in midweek took him through the 30-goal barrier.

Although he refuses to speculate on reaching Cristiano Ronaldo's phenomenal 42-goal tally from two years ago, Sunday's Old Trafford visitors Fulham should be warned -- Rooney is not finished yet.

"I am delighted with 30 goals. Hopefully I can kick on from here and try to get more," he said.

Speaking at a showcase event in London to herald the brief arrival of the World Cup to this country, Rooney also reflected on a marvellous run of seven successive headers until he finished off Nani's cross for United's second last night.

It is to the 24-year-old's credit he had fun at his own expense as he came up with a novel reason for the excellent run of form.


"It's coming off my bald patch and that's helping me score," quipped Rooney. "I have been working on my heading a lot and thankfully it's paying off."

Alex Ferguson is bound to make changes to his starting line-up after such an exhausting night, with Rooney among those who might stand down considering he is still troubled by a knee injury.

Michael Carrick is available following a European suspension, whilst there is also a chance that Ryan Giggs will be involved after he returned to training after having a plate removed from the arm he broke at Aston Villa last month.

Meanwhile, Manchester United chief executive David Gill insists the Old Trafford outfit are benefiting from the Glazer family's business expertise.

Whilst the highly visible green and gold campaign, which David Beckham offered support to by wearing one of their scarves as he made his way off the pitch on Wednesday night, will again be in evidence on Sunday, Gill believes the Glazers' positive contribution to the club is being ignored.

United announced a seven-figure sponsorship deal with Telekom Malaysia yesterday, providing further proof the Red Devils remain an attractive proposition. The five-year deal is part of a new commercial strategy implemented by the Glazer family.

Instead of taking a global approach, United adopt a territorial stance, doing exclusive deals in specific areas to maximise income and make the most of an estimated 333 million supporters worldwide. It was one of the facts the Glazers took into account when they launched their own takeover.

"The owners thought we were doing very well on the commercial front but that there were other opportunities out there," Gill said. "This is the insight they have brought in."