Wayne Rooney worried Sir Alex Ferguson when he’d drink and smoke, reports say. The Derby star is set to face former club Manchester United in the FA Cup on Thursday evening.
Rooney spent nine years playing under Ferguson at Manchester United, with the duo overseeing a big period of success at Old Trafford.
The England international propelled the club to EFL Cup glory in 2006 before then helping them win three Premier League titles, the 2008 Champions League and other major titles during Ferguson’s reign.
The duo had a topsy-turvy relationship at Old Trafford, despite all of the success they achieved.
And The Athletic say Ferguson would often worry when Rooney would smoke and drink as he feared it would impact the Derby star’s performances.
The former United manager felt Rooney ‘had to be careful’.
And he was fearful that his qualities ‘could be swallowed up by a lack of fitness’.
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Ferguson would often persevere with Rooney, no matter how many times the ex-United hitman would achieve negative publicity.
But he was livid when the Red Devils icon drunk shortly before a game against Blackburn on New Year’s Day in 2011.
Rooney allegedly turned up to training ‘reeking of booze’ from a Boxing Day night out in Southport days previously.
And United players at the time, as well as Ferguson, couldn’t believe what the England international did.
Ferguson fired a passing shot at Rooney on his way out of the Old Trafford door in 2013.
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He revealed the England international had asked to leave the club, having grown annoyed at playing second fiddle to Robin van Persie.
But Rooney ended up staying and propelled the club to more trophies under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho before departing.
Meanwhile, speaking ahead of Derby’s clash with United, Rooney opened up on his relationship with Ferguson.
He said: ”I always remember as a kid, every half-time, arguing with him, constantly.
“I remember thinking, ‘Why does he keep having a go at me? There’s players far worse than I’ve been!’
“Then the older you get, the more you realise why he’s doing it. He’s obviously aiming at other players who can’t take it.
“He would have a go at me for dribbling. I very rarely dribble… well, I dribbled a bit more then… but [with] Nani, it would just maybe trigger something in [his] head, thinking, ‘Oh maybe I shouldn’t dribble as much.’
“He knew how to get that message across without losing it.
“If he spoke to Nani the way he spoke to me, he’d break down in tears.
“He wouldn’t be able to go back out.”
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