Jose Mourinho has insisted that Wayne Rooney has nothing left to prove at Manchester United following his superb performance against Feyenoord on Thursday night.
The 31-year-old capped off an all-round commanding performance with an assist and a goal, acting as a fundamental aspect of a comfortable 4-0 win.
Rooney’s goal – a wonderfully executed chip after 35 minutes – takes the captain to within one goal of Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goalscoring record.
Mourinho, speaking after the game, claimed the captain has nothing left to prove at Man United.
“I think it was a similar performance to the others we had at home. We were dominant, we controlled the first game to the last but this time we scored goals,” he said.
“People like him [Rooney] don’t need to answer anymore, just need to enjoy a few more years of his career and playing the best he can, which is what he tries to do.
“But more important than that is we just need one more point to qualify.”
Rooney will always espouse a particular aura in the United dressing room. This is a man with nothing left to win at Old Trafford: a Champions League medal, two League Cup medals, an FA Cup medal, a World Club Cup medal and five Premier League titles.
He is rightly respected and admired on a universal level at Carrington, and his presence – even when playing poorly – does bring something valuable to this group of players. Above anything, he is a mentor for a side still struggling to fully carve out an identity. He experienced the dizzy highs and excruciating lows of top-level football, and his experience will only serve to help a promising group of players as the season goes on.