Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has said that he plans to celebrate if he scores against his former club in Derby County’s fifth-round FA Cup tie on Thursday.
It will undoubtedly be an evening of mixed emotions for the 34-year-old as he returns against the club where he spent most of his glittering career, playing over 350 games and becoming the club’s record goalscorer in his 13 years with the club after finding the net 253 times in all competitions.
He laughed: “Yeah, of course.
“My time at Manchester United, I loved every minute of it. I am a Derby County player now and I want to win with Derby County”, he said.
“For that 90 minutes, or 120 minutes, obviously I want Manchester United to lose. This is a big game for us to go into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and obviously for Manchester United, there is this and the Europa League where they have a chance to win a trophy this season, so we know that they won’t be taking it lightly.”
Rooney will undoubtedly get a hero’s welcome from the travelling Manchester United fans, who will be hoping their side can keep up their hot run of form, goign nine games unbeaten – finding themselves three points adrift of the top four.
Rooney, who became a firm fan favourite at Old Trafford since his emergence onto the scene after his move from Everton, eventually left the club for Major League soccer side D.C. United, being named the club’s MVP and golden boot winner after scoring 12 goals in 21 matches.
After returning to England in 2019 to join the Rams as a player-coach, Rooney was immediately named captain and made his debut against Barnsley in January.
The former forward, who now operates as a midfielder under Phillip Cocu, has been ever-present as they aim to manufacture a late promotion push – sitting eight points adrift of sixth-placed Preston North End.
Meanwhile, Derby County will travel to 10th placed Millwall next Saturday after Sunday’s clash with Blackburn.