Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has hailed Wayne Rooney after the 31-year-old broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time club record against Stoke City on Saturday.
Rooney was introduced after 67 minutes against Mark Hughes’ side to aid a late onslaught from the visitors and duly came up with an injury time equaliser, rifling home a free-kick into the top corner from a seemingly impossible angle.
The captain’s goal took his total at Man United to 250 goals, surpassing Charlton’s 43-year long record.
Ferdinand, in response, recorded a video to praise Rooney for reaching the milestone, insisting that “there will be statues” built in the Englishman’s honour.
United as a club possess the biggest fanbase on the planet – one that forms an ecosystem of its own, constantly growing and changing as Jose Mourinho’s men look to once again establish themselves on the world stage. And the overriding agenda towards Rooney over the past few years have soured, with many – including myself – adamant that his best days are indeed behind him.
But United’s fanbase, for all its sheer enormity, only makes a small mark on the football world’s overall scope of interest. And it never fails to astound me that Rooney is perceived as a true footballing legend by millions around the globe. He has, in many ways, helped cement United as the internationally-recognised entity that we know today, providing inspiration and entertainment to swathes of people, and United fans – as well as England followers in general – ought to praise the captain for that alone.