Wayne Rooney has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson’s inspirational message to his players after Manchester United’s 2008 Champions League victory.
United claimed their third European crown in Moscow after beating Chelsea in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, securing the domestic and European double.
The Premier League title victory was United’s second of a three-year domestic domination that saw them crowned champions in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Writing in his latest column, Rooney has revealed an inspirational message that Ferguson delivered during the celebrations of their Champions League triumph, which epitomised how he and that group of players managed to stay at the top of their game for so long.
“Keep going. It’s that simple. Everything you’ve done to reach the top — learning, sacrifice, hard work, showing character — you have to continue,” Rooney wrote in his Sunday Times column.
“I keep going back to Alex Ferguson but when we won the Champions League final in Moscow we had a party afterwards and while everyone was celebrating, Fergie got on the mic and said thanks to the players, thanks to the families for supporting them, now I’m going to bed because I have to prepare for next season and for us retaining the title.
“That always stuck with me. I remember thinking, “Just have a night off.” But what drive. And what a clever message.
“Different people have different things that push them. Mine has always been that I want to win more. That’s why I’m at Derby. I could play until I’m 40 for fun, but I went to Derby because I feel I can help get them in the Premier League.”