When Ibrahimovic Aimed Dig at Ronaldo Over Rooney Partnership at United

When Ibrahimovic Aimed Dig at Ronaldo Over Rooney Partnership at United

Isaac Darko
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic's comment about Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo has re-emerged
  • Rooney played the ideal supporting role, allowing Ronaldo to showcase his skills effectively
  • The pair won three Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League with Man United

A comment from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, regarding Wayne Rooney carrying the brunt of the work upfront alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, has resurfaced.

During their tenure at Manchester United in the 2000s, the duo spent six seasons together and over the course of 205 games, collaborated for 25 joint goal contributions.

Rooney capitalised on 14 of these goals with assists from Ronaldo, who reciprocated the favour 11 times in return.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Globe Soccer Awards, Piers Morgan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards on November 17. Photo by Waleed Zein.
Source: Getty Images

The duo helped the Red Devils clinch three Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League during their shared tenure at Old Trafford, per Sportskeeda.

Both stars relished the opportunity to play together, with Rooney serving as the ideal complement for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to showcase his skills.

Ibrahimovic held a contrasting perspective. In 2015, prior to Ronaldo's return to United, he commented that Rooney's diligent efforts were often overshadowed and undervalued.

He told BBC Sport, via SportBible:

"When he played with Cristiano Ronaldo, all the work was done by Rooney. These great players, they have their moments over one to three years. But to continue over five years, for 10 years, the way Wayne Rooney has done is not easy. It's pressure every day playing for a big team."

Rooney remained at United until 2017, establishing himself as their all-time leading goal-scorer and helping secure two additional Premier League titles.

Ibrahimovic shared a season with the Englishman at United, winning the Carabao Cup and UEFA Europa League under the management of Jose Mourinho.

In a surprising comeback in 2021, Ronaldo rejoined the team. He netted 24 goals across all competitions in the 2021/22 season, a campaign that saw United conclude with their lowest-ever Premier League points total.

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Rooney reveals favourite United teammate

Sports Brief previously reported on Rooney discussing his favourite United teammates - and worst - during his illustrious career at Old Trafford.

According to the current Birmingham City manager, Darren Fletcher was his favourite teammate at the Theatre of Dreams, while Nani was his worst.

"There were a few - John O'Shea, Wes Brown, Michael Carrick - we were all really close. But [Fletcher] was probably the one."
Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)