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Wayne Rooney on the player who “could have been a star” at Man United


Wayne Rooney played alongside some incredible stars during his time at Manchester United.

From Cristiano Ronaldo to Robin Van Persie, Rooney saw many influential players come and go at Old Trafford during his 13-year career.

However, during that time, a number of promising players flopped for unknown reasons.


Players such as Radamel Falcao and Bastian Schweinsteiger were deemed to be world-class but failed to make their mark when brought to United.

Another player who falls into that category is Angel Di Maria who arrived at the club in 2014. He was the most expensive player in British football history when he joined from Real Madrid for £59.7 million.

However, under Louis van Gaal, Di Maria lasted just one season at Old Trafford before being sold to PSG. He scored only four goals during that period.

Writing in his Sunday Times column, Rooney admitted that Di Maria could have been a star at United.

“He’s a wonderful player. When he came to United I remember Louis van Gaal saying to the team: ‘He is the only one who is allowed to dribble with the ball.’

“Angel works tirelessly on the pitch and his delivery, vision and awareness is brilliant. He could have been a major star at United but at the time we were going through a bit of a transition and it was tough for him to settle.

“He had young kids and lived a couple of houses down from me and someone tried to burgle him. I remember that really shook him and his family.


“From then on, really, you knew it was going to be tough for him and it was probably better for him to leave.”

Rooney gives his verdict on the Champions League final

Di Maria will feature for PSG in tonight’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich. The 32-year-old is part of a devastating front three attack alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Despite Bayern Munich being heavy favourites for the title, Rooney has backed PSG’s deadly trio to get them over the line.

“It will be an open game, between two teams who are very good at attacking and will cause problems for each other.

“It will be a shoot-out and I think with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria, PSG will exploit the high line that Bayern play. They will get chances and take them, in a way that, in the semi-finals, Lyons did not.

“PSG have the better balance. Defensively they are quite solid, more so than their opposition”, Rooney continued.

“For Bayern it is not as simple as just abandoning that high line for one game because it’s key to how they play.


“They have a very good press, which involves Robert Lewandowski showing a centre back to one side and then Serge Gnabry or Ivan Perisic pressing and Thomas Muller coming in from behind. The midfielders then back that press up.

“I have no doubt that press will create chances for Bayern – but PSG are good enough in possession to deal with it most of the time and once they play through it there will be opportunities for their attackers to run in behind.”

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter