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Rooney to lead Man Utd against Roma
December 12, 2007 10:39 IST
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney [Images] will captain the side for their Champions League game at AS Roma, manager Alex Ferguson said on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old is likely to lead a largely second-string team in Wednesday's game, where nothing is at stake for either side.
Asked whether Rooney could do the job on a permanent basis in the future, Ferguson told a news conference on Tuesday: "Some of the qualities he has are similar to two or three other captains of the past like Steve Bruce, Bryan Robson, Roy Keane.
"A player of great determination and spirit, and sometimes these are qualities that can influence a team.
"So I have no qualms. He's been pestering me (for the captaincy) for ages and so he gets his chance now."
The Premier League champions have 15 points and are assured of finishing top of Group F, while Roma have already qualified for the knockout stage of the competition in second place with 10 points.
Ferguson was optimistic there would be no recurrence of the trouble among rival fans that marred both quarter-final ties between the two sides last season.
"Everyone who loves the game and loves football does not want to see the incidents we saw last year. Roma don't want that, Manchester United don't want that," he said.
"The reputations of both clubs are very important. We dearly hope there are no problems tomorrow. I think that some lessons will have been learned from last year and we shouldn't have a big problem."
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage