Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Wayne Rooney fails to receive the appreciation he deserves at Old Trafford.
The 31-year-old etched his name into the club’s history books last weekend with a goal against Stoke City that cemented his status as Man United’s all-time top goalscorer.
Sir Alex Ferguson, speaking earlier this week, noted that catching Rooney’s total of 250 club goals – and counting – would be impossible.
And Ferdinand has claimed that his former teammate deserves more recognition for his exploits at United.
“I don’t know what it is. I try to put my finger on it all the time,” he said.
“He is putting up numbers that nobody has done. He is surpassing records — landmark records that nobody has been near for 40 years. But there’s always a ‘but.’ Why?
“I think he’s appreciated more on the continent than he is in this country and that’s a shame because a lot of foreign teams would love to have taken him many times.
“They’d see he wasn’t just an out-and-out striker, he wasn’t just a No. 10, he was a combination of both. How many in history have we seen really able to do that?
“The Brazilian Ronaldo didn’t do that, Marco van Basten didn’t do that, and they’re the two best No. 9s in my time watching football.”
Rooney has adopted an entirely new role at Old Trafford in recent months, with Mourinho moving the captain away from the domain of first team regular to a more sporadic, edifying figure, with more emphasis being placed on his overall presence as opposed to what he can produce on the pitch.
He is a man that everybody – from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the man with 31 majors honours, to youngster Axel Tuanzebe – looks up to, and his impact as a captain, even if he isn’t on the pitch, cannot be overstated.