Wayne Rooney has learnt Spanish swear words in order to motivate his Manchester United team-mates, reveals Ander Herrera

Rooney and Michael Carrick attempt to fire up Herrera, David De Gea and Juan Mata before matches

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney is more cultured than you originally thought. The Manchester United and England captain has spent holidays over the years in Turkey, Portugal and Las Vegas, his favourite food is the Italian favourite spaghetti Bolognese, and he fires up his Spanish team-mates ahead of games by swearing at them in their own language.

That’s right, you read that correct. Rooney has learnt to swear in Spanish in order to motivate the likes of Ander Herrera, David De Gea and Juan Mata in the hope that they get stuck in during matches and give United back their bite that they had been missing for the last season-and-a-half.

Speaking after United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool, Herrera, who was on the end of a Steven Gerrard stamp that saw the Reds’ skipper sent-off after just 38 seconds, revealed that Rooney had taken rather extreme measures in order to communicate with the Spanish trio, while midfielder Michael Carrick also tries to get his team-mates pumped up pre-kick-off.


"I just have to listen to Rooney and Michael Carrick before games,” Herrera told El Pais. “When they tell us to stick the boot in and play aggressively it is like taking a master's degree course.

"Rooney leads the way as he is a very open personality - and he insults me, David [De Gea] and Juan [Mata] in Spanish.

"I prefer to talk with him about football, as I know he likes boxing - and I don't want him to start trying it out with me!"

Herrera arrived from Athletic Bilbao last summer for £29m and has gone about trying to establish himself in the United first team having originally appeared out of favour under Louis van Gaal. The Spaniard has impressed in recent weeks, although it was hit tackle on Gerrard that triggered the 34-year-old’s stunning reaction in Sunday’s fiercely contested encounter.

Herrera slides in on Philippe Coutinho

Part of Herrera’s improvement has been his willingness to get stuck in to his opponents, and he admits he has no fear of going into challenges strongly and enjoys the physicality of the Premier League.

"I've been impressed by the physical strength of our opponents in the Premier League. But there aren't situations where you fear to put your foot in. On the contrary - the risk is in not going in strongly, as that way you can get hurt.

Juan Mata and Ander Herrera celebrates victory over Liverpool

"Besides, your fans like you to make tackles and pressure opponents. I've become infected with this attitude since I came over."