Ferguson gets sentimental over Rooney's anniversary

Manager hails striker five years after stunning debut for United in Europe

Sir Alex Ferguson does not normally come across as the sentimental type but the Manchester United manager was getting all gooey about an anniversary yesterday.

Before tonight's Champions League tie against Wolfsburg at Old Trafford Ferguson drooled over Wayne Rooney's stunning debut for the club which was exactly five years ago. Rooney scored a magnificent hat-trick against Turkish side Fenerbahce in 2004, sending Old Trafford into raptures and announcing himself on the world stage at the age of 18.

"It was a marvellous start, to score a hat-trick on your debut and he wasn't really fit," Ferguson said. "He hadn't played for 10 weeks which was a remarkable feat. His progress has never disappointed us. When we signed him as a young kid we thought that he would become a top player and he's going in that direction without question."

Ferguson outlined Rooney's desire to win as his key attributes before the visit of the Bundesliga champions, who came from nowhere to beat the likes of Bayern Munich, Hamburg and Stuttgart to the German title. "He's blessed with certain ingredients that only great footballers have," Ferguson said. "It's the determination and hunger to win every match."

United will be looking to build on their win in Besiktas in the first group match against Wolfsburg who are likely to have the former Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins on the bench.

Chelsea, who beat Porto in their first match, meet APOEL Nicosia in Cyprus looking to improve on their performance at the weekend when they lost their first match under Carlo Ancelotti, 3-1 to Wigan Athletic in the League.

Rangers, who have been struggling on the domestic front, host Spain's Seville looking to build on their sound start to the competition when they returned from Stuttgart with a point.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before