Ryan Giggs urged his new Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney yesterday to "carry on enjoying his football" after his sparkling debut hat-trick in the Champions' League on Tuesday night had raised expectations surrounding the teenager to new heights.
"Given he scored a hat-trick on his debut, I can't see much of a problem with that just now," said Giggs, who has been at Old Trafford for 13 years compared to Rooney's 30 days with the club. "Wayne is similar to Paul Scholes in the sense that he just loves playing football, whether it be in front of 67,000 at Old Trafford or just out on the local park. At this stage of his career, everything should come naturally. The games can't come quick enough and you just want to get out there and play.
"You would struggle to find anyone who had a better debut than that, especially when you consider he has been out for three months, but he took all the hype and expectation in his stride, which just shows the type of character he is."
In just 90 minutes for Manchester United since his summer transfer from Everton, Rooney has established himself among a select band of players for whom a crackle of anticipation shoots round the ground whenever they get the ball.
Giggs, who took his own goal tally to 123 with his headed opener against Fenerbahce on Tuesday, acknowledges that the Old Trafford atmosphere generates a buzz that lifts confidence in good times and bad.
"Manchester United fans are the best in the world at recognising young talent," he said. "It's important, not just when things are going well but also when they are going badly.
"Wayne plays in an exciting position, where his control and first touch count, where he can score goals and make goals. The crowd are bound to rise to that. His overall technique and ability gave everyone in the stadium a lift," Giggs added.Reuse content