Jose Mourinho says Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has willingly passed penalty duties to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
There was no debate about who would take the spot-kick when Luke Shaw tumbled in the box in Friday’s 2-0 win over Southampton, with Ibrahimovic quick to pick up the ball before slotting home from 12 yards for his second of goal of the match.
Last season Rooney, United’s second top scorer of all time with 246, would have been first choice to take the shot but he was happy to allow the club’s new number nine to assume the responsibility.
Mourinho named Rooney, Ibrahimovic and £89million record signing Paul Pogba as his three preferred penalty takers and allowed them to determine their own pecking order.
“I designated three – Paul, Wayne and Zlatan – but sometimes I like the players to have the feeling ‘this is for me’,” he said.
“Wayne and Paul told themselves ‘Zlatan, when a penalty comes you are the first. If you don’t want to take it for some reason we are here, but you are the man. Between them they made that decision.”