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Sunday 23 September 2018

Rooney lauds 'great' Giggs

Striker reveals even Leverkusen were in awe of icon ahead of his 40th birthday

United star duo Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney. Picture credit: Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images
United star duo Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney. Picture credit: Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images

WAYNE ROONEY has revealed even the Bayer Leverkusen players were staggered at how Ryan Giggs managed to defy the years in the Champions League.

Giggs celebrates his 40th birthday tomorrow, basking in the afterglow of another superb display in last night's 5-0 romp at the BayArena.

Sami Hyypia's men simply had no answer to the Welshman's class.

They just wondered how it was possible.

"I've run out of things to say about Ryan," Rooney said.

"Actually, during the game, the Bayer centre-half was asking how he is still playing at that age.

"I certainly won't be playing at that age, that's for sure. His composure on the ball is great."

With Giggs still capable of performing at such a high level, he might not even get his birthday weekend off given United visit Tottenham on Sunday needing to get their Premier League campaign back on track.

Rooney will not be getting the weekend off. Not after his four assists in what turned out to be United's biggest away win in Europe since 1964 and a victory margin they have exceeded only once on their European travels in their entire history.

"It's a team game, but it's always great when you can help your team-mates score goals," Rooney said. "It was a perfect away match.

"We played very well, we defended well, there was some great counter-attacking football, we played with power, pace and composure.

Praise

"It was really as good an away performance as you can get."

Rooney also had words of praise for Shinji Kagawa, who revelled in his central position after being given the rare opportunity of operating behind a main frontman as he prefers.

United have now booked their place in the last 16, although they do need a point when they face Shakhtar Donetsk at Old Trafford in a fortnight to ensure they progress as group winners.

Before that is the clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Spurs are still smarting from that humiliating 6-0 spanking at Manchester City on Sunday.

Yet United can hardly afford to be charitable after they conceded a last-minute equaliser and two points at Cardiff a couple of hours later.

"Obviously, it was disappointing to lose a goal towards the end at Cardiff (on Sunday)," Rooney said.

"We didn't play as well as we can.

"So, whilst we are all delighted to put on a great performance in the Champions League, now we are looking forward to playing Spurs."

United manager David Moyes, meanwhile, has claimed Giggs is getting even better.

Already, there is speculation Moyes will be prepared to extend Giggs' career into yet another season. It is not a decision that needs to be made just now – and Moyes is happy to revel in the Welshman's continuing genius.

Ability

"People mention his age but all you should talk about is his fooball ability," said Moyes.

"He is an unbelievable footballer – and you could say he is getting better.

"His vision and pass for Nani's goal were fantastic.

"He is a wonderful player and I am really fortunate to be working with him.

"He will tell us when he has enough, or when he thinks his time is up.

"But his performances since I came have been excellent."

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