MANCHESTER (SportingAlert) — Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has named Wayne Rooney the new team captain of the club for coming season.
Rooney will be assisted by experienced midfielder Darren Fletcher, who was named vice-captain.
“It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club,” said Rooney on www.manutd.com. “It is a role I will perform with great pride.”
The England forward will lead Manchester United out against Swansea City in the first English Premier League game of the season, and he is looking forward to that.
“Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me,” he said.
“I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season.”
Meanwhile, Van Gaal, who had also handed the arm band to Fletcher and Tom Cleverley during the tour of the United States, revealed why he decided to make Rooney his captain.
“For me it’s always very important the choice of captain. Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does,” the manager said on www.manutd.com.
“I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy.
“He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.”
Van Gaal also backs Fletcher to be a good backup to the skipper.
“Darren Fletcher will become the vice-captain,” he revealed. “Darren is a natural leader and will captain the team when Wayne isn’t playing.
“Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne.”
Meanwhile, Fletcher said: “I am delighted to have been named as vice-captain. It’s a very proud moment for me and my family.
“Wayne and I have always worked well together and we will continue to work closely together in our new roles. I would like to thank the manager for putting his trust in me.”
Van Gaal made his decision after the final preseason game on Tuesday evening, which Manchester United won 2-1 over Spanish side Valencia.