Wayne Rooney named as new Manchester United captain

Wayne Rooney has been named Manchester United captain by new manager Louis van Gaal, the club announced Wednesday (Aug 13).

The 28-year-old England striker succeeds Nemanja Vidic after the Serbian defender left United at the end of last season to join Inter Milan.

“Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy,” the Dutchman explained.

“He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.”

England captain, too?

Rooney, who could now also become captain of England following Steven Gerrard’s retirement from international football, said: “It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club.

“It is a role I will perform with great pride. Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me. I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season.”

Van Gaal, who formally took charge at Old Trafford last month after guiding the Netherlands to third place at the World Cup, said Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher, whom he labelled a “natural leader” would be the team’s vice-captain and lead the side in Rooney’s absence.

Van Gaal made the announcement after Manchester United beat Valencia 2-1 on the same d​ay.

Captain Rooney missed a penalty but Darren Fletcher drove in United’s opener shortly after the interval only for Rodrigo to equalise in the 71st minute before Marouane Fellaini scored his first goal in United colours in injury time.

Captain Wayne Rooney (Right) and vice-captain Darren Fletcher (Left) seen here lifting the Guinness International Champions cup on Aug 4, 2014. Photo: AFP

Van Gaal was appointed after United, who finished a relatively lowly seventh in the Premier League last term, sacked David Moyes after the former Everton boss failed to complete his first season in charge at Old Trafford.

United play their first competitive match under van Gaal when they begin their Premier League campaign at home to Swansea on Aug 13. 

Manchester United