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Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney: We want to win the UEFA Champions League

Feb 25, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

Manchester United v Bayer Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League Getty Images

Fresh off signing his new contract that makes him Manchester United’s highest paid player in history, start striker Wayne Rooney is ready to lead the Red Devils charge towards another UEFA Champions League title.

The Red Devils have won the famous trophy three times in their history, but there has been plenty of heartache in recent years as Rooney has reached three finals (2008, 2009 and 2011) with United but only lifted the title in ’08 when United beat Chelsea on penalty kicks in Moscow.

Speaking before United’s trip to Olympiakos, Rooney is desperate to win more Champions League titles and is urging his team to aim high this season, despite a terrible campaign thus far in the Premier League.

“To win one is never enough I think, especially at this club. You need to keep trying to get into these finals, we want to win,” Rooney said. “The feeling you get when you actually win this trophy is incredible, so there’s no way you want to stop at one. You want to win every year, obviously that is impossible. But if we can go to the final it would be great for us and it’s an opportunity to win the trophy, so hopefully we can do that.”

(MORE: Champions League Preview: Talent not the issue for United against Olympiakos)

With Rooney fired up and his partnership with fit-again Robin van Persie up and running, United look rejuvenated and now boast the extra attacking talents of Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj to support RVP and Rooney. But his trip to Olympiakos will be a tricky one, as the Athens-based club lead the way in the Greek top-flight and their fans are sure to create a hostile atmosphere on Tuesday night.

It’s safe to say United’s best performances this campaign have come in the Champions League, as David Moyes‘ side breezed through the group stages with four wins ans two draws from their six matches. Despite poor form in the PL which sees them languishing down in sixth place, United are the clear favorites for this clash against their Greek opponents.

The fact that Rooney is earmarking a deep run in the UCL this season shows confidence and belief is high in the United camp, so can they keep their good European form going on Tuesday night? It seems like their only chance of qualifying for next years competition is if they win the Champions League, as fourth place is a long way away in the PL.

So, it’s a case of all or nothing from here on out for the Red Devils.

  1. dfstell - Feb 25, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    He has a good point. United will not catch Liverpool for 4th. Not only is the points-gap pretty big, but Liverpool is playing well and do not look like a team that is going to lose 3 out of 4 to allow United to catch up. There’s really no point to chasing Europa league. United can make more revenue by doing a pre-season tour of the US than by playing in the Europa league.

    So, they might as well do what Chelsea did a couple seasons ago and put all their chips into the Champions League spot.

    My goodness…..could you imagine the irony if United win the Champions League and LIVERPOOL is the 4th place team that gets booted out. Holy crap. Especially because Liverpool was the team that jumped up and down like Rumplestiltskin when they won Champions League and demanded that they get their spot the next year. There is still some karmic payback for that event.

    That being said, I haven’t seen anything from United that suggests they can beat the big guns in Champions League. But, as Liverpool and Chelsea have shown, anything is possible (although United is less defensively sound than those sides were).

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