Wayne Rooney has said that he can already see why Jose Mourinho has been a winner in his career and the forward added that he is looking forward to teaming up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Manchester United captain Rooney has started working with the club’s new manager Mourinho for the first time on the club’s preseason tour of China, but the Englishman did not play in the opening game of the trip against Borussia Dortmund as he builds up fitness.
Discussing working with Mourinho, on a Facebook Q&A, Rooney said: “It’s been great. The training has been tough. You can see why he has won trophies in the clubs he has been at. We’ve enjoyed it. It’s been difficult in the heat out here in China, but it’s been really good.
“I’m looking forward to getting involved in a few games, starting against City.”
Rooney will train with Ibrahimovic, who was not taken on the tour, for the first time when United return to Manchester.
Asked about his new teammate, Rooney replied: “He’s been one of the best strikers in world football for the last ten years. He’s always won trophies wherever he’s gone and he is a huge character.
“I’m looking forward to training with him and then hopefully we can form a successful partnership.”
United’s next and final game on the China tour is a match against Manchester City in Beijing on Monday, provided that the conditions are not bad enough for the match to be cancelled.
After the tour ends, United will face Galatasaray in Gothenburg, Sweden, on July 30, then play their first game on home soil under Mourinho on Aug. 3, which will be Rooney’s testimonial against Everton.
Looking ahead to the testimonial, the 30-year-old said: “I’ll have my three boys with me and I’m sure it will be quite emotional. It’ll be different to have the crowd there to support myself and support the charities which are benefiting from it.
“It’ll be an emotional night for myself and a proud moment. Not many players stay at a club that long, nowadays, to get a testimonial and it’s going to be a huge honour.”
The former Everton striker also looked back on his career as a whole during the discussion.
He picked out the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea as his most memorable game and said that the overhead kick he scored to win the derby against Manchester City in February 2011 was his best goal.
His most memorable goal was the under-pressure penalty that he scored away against Blackburn Rovers, which sealed the record-breaking 19th league title for United in 2011.
Rooney also discussed the influences on him as a captain over his career, saying: “Naturally, I’m quite demanding at times. Growing up over the last 12 years — watching the likes of Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Steven Gerrard [at England] — you take little bits from players like that.
“But throughout my career I’ve always spoken my mind and known what I’ve wanted from teammates and what teammates have wanted from me.”