Rooney picks Van Gaal over Alex Ferguson as best coach he worked with

Louis van Gaal, rather than Alex Ferguson, has been the best coach of Wayne Rooney's career, says the former England captain.

Although Louis Van Gaal (R) only had an FA Cup crown to show for his two years with Manchester United, Wayne Rooney (L) credits the Dutchman as the biggest influence on his career.   -  Getty Images

Wayne Rooney says Louis van Gaal is the best coach he has worked with in his career, rather than Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson.

Rooney and Ferguson did not always have the smoothest relationship at Old Trafford, although the striker became the world's most expensive teenager when the Scot signed him for United in 2004. Rooney won five Premier League titles under Ferguson, as well as the 2007-08 Champions League.

Ferguson retired in 2013 after winning his 13th Premier League title, with Van Gaal soon arriving as David Moyes' successor as the former Everton manager failed to complete a single season.

And although Van Gaal only had an FA Cup crown to show for his two years with United, Rooney surprisingly credits the Dutchman as the biggest influence on his career.

"Van Gaal is by far the best coach I have worked with - 100 per cent," DC United striker Rooney, who became England's record goalscorer, told De Telegraaf.

"His tactical skills, his way of preparing and his attention to the finest of details, I found amazing. I admired that in him. I had never looked at stuff like that before.

"Van Gaal knows that the way he works is tough for players. I made him aware of that at the time and we talked about this very well together.

"I regret how it all ended, yet I know one thing for sure - I have learnt a lot from him and I am definitely going to use those lessons for when I am a manager."

READ | Wayne Rooney reveals manager job offers

Ferguson was perhaps considered more of a man-manager than a hands-on coach, the Scot having delegated training sessions to assistants such as Steve McClaren and Carlos Quieroz during his latter years at Old Trafford.

Rooney, meanwhile, is thriving after ending a second spell at boyhood club Everton to join MLS side DC, but he is already planning to follow former international team-mates Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard into management.

READ | Derby owner hopes Lampard to Chelsea falls through

"It is great to see that Frank and Steve have been given these chances at big clubs," said Rooney, 33. 

"That gives me hope too because I do think about these things. But for the time being, I am enjoying my life as footballer. I want to win more trophies. Physically, I feel good and I am still ambitious. But once my career is over, I am going to consider all the ­options."

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook

  Dugout videos