Manchester United legend Gary Neville has revealed Wayne Rooney was the player he found most difficult to captain. Following Roy Keane’s departure in 2005, Neville was appointed United club captain, a role he held until he retired in 2011. The former right-back led the Red Devils to two Premier League titles and a Champions League success but it was not always plain sailing when he wore the armband.
Appearing on Sky Sports’ The Football Show on Wednesday, Neville was quick to name Rooney when asked which player he found the toughest to captain.
And he revealed the difficulties he would often have keeping the former striker in check on nights out.
“Rooney. You used to have to man-mark him with a security guard on a night out,” Neville said.
“I used to take responsibility for it to be fair.
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“I used to love Wazza, he was a brilliant lad, but when he was younger he was a little bit, when we were out he was a little bit unpredictable.
“I remember once a security guard was looking after him and I’d literally put a security guard on him, because I always thought he was a target for people we saw on the street, I always thought he was someone who the other fans would try and wind up.
“And anyway he stopped at the top of the stairs, this security guard, and handed him over to the security guard at the bottom of the stairs, but [Rooney] had a battle on the middle of the stars in-between the security guards.
“It was about a 10-step staircase and he’d literally been left alone for five steps.
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“He was someone who was a challenge but he was a great lad.”
Earlier this month Neville said Rooney’s arrival at United was the signing that excited him the most when he was a player at United.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004 for a fee of around £25million and went on to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.
“Wayne Rooney, Wayne Rooney’s probably No 1,” Neville said.
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“I played with him with England and I knew what we were getting.
“We were getting a world-class player and fearless and horrible and everything that you’d want in a football player.
“Goals, tackling, running, endeavour, grit, everything that you’d want in a football player.
“So he was the one that excited me.”
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