Wayne Rooney could be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo if it wasn't for his gym attitude

Former Manchester United fitness coach believes the England striker 'didn't see the importance of the gym'

Former Manchester United fitnaess coach Mick Clegg has criticised striker Wayne Rooney claiming that he was never as good as Cristiano Ronaldo because he hated going to the gym.

There have always been questions over the fitness of the England forward, who was dropped by Sir Alex Ferguson at the beginning of last season after a below-standard performance in the opening day 1-0 defeat at Everton.

Ahead of a meeting with new boss David Moyes that could potentially decide where his future lies, Clegg has expressed a few views as to why he has suffered a fall from grace.

Clegg told The Sun: “Wayne didn’t see the importance of the gym really. He’d say, ‘I’m here to play football’. I always wish I could have pushed Wayne that bit further.”

Rooney and Ronaldo shared a partnership which blossomed at Old Trafford between 2004 and 2009, when the Portugal star left for Real Madrid – a move that has been rumoured to be in Rooney’s short-term future.

The 27-year-old has been inconsistent ever since, with Clegg believing that he did not want to train as much as the other players, and that he could be as good as Ronaldo if he wanted to.

“Wayne was always a big lad and was afraid of bulking up if he spent too much time in the gym.

“That’s what set Cristiano Ronaldo apart. He would do whatever training I prescribed and more.

“He lived and breathed football 24/7 and his dedication was phenomenal.

“Wayne could still be as good as Cristiano if he emulated his attitude to the gym — he is an amazing athlete when he puts his mind to it.'

Rooney was pictured enjoying himself at Glastonbury with a pint of cider alongside wife Coleen, but faces a tough time during pre-season to impress new boss Moyes and the Old Trafford faithful following a season with another transfer request.

United’s players are due to return to training today, and Moyes will be keeping a close eye on Rooney ahead of their talks, with assessments last year claiming the star was as much as half a stone overweight.

Some involved at United believe Rooney has lost the edge and instinctiveness that made him such an explosive partner for Ronaldo in the Premier League.

Rooney continued to improve even after Ronaldo left for Madrid,  and there was a period in the 2009-10 season - including a magnificent individual performance when they beat AC Milan in the San Siro - when the forward lived up to his world class billing.

But for a player that is earning £250,000 a week, Moyes will be wanting a lot more of those moments.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
tv

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
football

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe gives a strong performance in Horns
film

Review: Alexandre Aja's film is a Twin Peaks-style mystery

News
Apple CEO Timothy Cook
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
film
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes