Wayne Rooney learnt more about football in two years under Louis van Gaal than he did from a decade winning trophies with Sir Alex Ferguson – so says the man himself.
Manchester United‘s record goal-scorer was at the back-end of his career in England when Van Gaal was appointed at Old Trafford in 2014, having lost much of the pace and energy that made him such a menacing player in his 20s.
However, for the 33-year-old – who now plays for DC United in the MLS – it was a crash course for his planned ventures into management.
“Van Gaal is by far the best coach I have worked with – 100 per cent,” Rooney told the Daily Mirror.
“His tactical skills, his way of preparing and his attention to the finest of details, I found amazing. I admired that in him. I had never looked at stuff like that before.”
It was of course not all rosy for Rooney at United with Van Gaal, who was ignominiously sacked shortly after winning the FA Cup in 2016.
His rigid methods and United’s often ponderous play during his tenure drew criticism from fans and pundits alike – though it didn’t put Rooney off learning numerous lessons from the Dutchman.
“Van Gaal knows that the way he works is tough for players. I made him aware of that at the time and we talked about this very well together,” he added.
“I regret how it all ended, yet I know one thing for sure – I have learnt a lot from him and I am definitely going to use those lessons for when I am a manager.”
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