MX23RW : Monday, July 23 07:54:40

Jose Mourinho backs Wayne Rooney to shine in Major League Soccer

Mourinho backs Rooney to shine in MLS
© Reuters
Jose Mourinho suggests that Wayne Rooney can help to raise the profile of soccer in the United States following his switch from Everton to DC United.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has supported Wayne Rooney's decision to swap the Premier League for Major League Soccer.

The Red Devils' all-time leading goalscorer brought an end to his 16-year spell in English football this week by agreeing to join DC United on a rumoured three-and-a-half-year contract.

Rooney is the latest in a long list of names to wind down his career in MLS, with Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard the most recent high-profile English exports to try their luck Stateside.

Mourinho, who managed Rooney at Old Trafford for one season before his short-term return to Everton, expects the 32-year-old to further raise the profile of the sport in the United States.

"When he made it at Everton, his boyhood club, the world was surprised with that kid and then he went to Manchester United and he had the incredible career he had," The Sun quotes him as saying.

"Then in the Premier League again at Everton Football Club, so I think his career in England was perfect. He decides the MLS [is next] and in MLS, you have always some iconic players that are going to end their career there.

"You had Gerrard, you had Lampard, you had [Patrick] Vieira, you had so many of them. David Beckham played there, too. You now have Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], you now have Wayne.

"I just hope he enjoys it and, of course, he'll bring the attention that the MLS needs to attract more people, to steal some people from the other sports that normally the American people are in love with."

Rooney is due to be unveiled by DC United early next week and is in line to make his debut on July 14.

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Wayne Rooney in action for Everton on April 7, 2018
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