Rooney named Man United captain
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has settled an extended summer storyline by naming Wayne Rooney captain.
The announcement, revealed on Man United's official website on Tuesday, came shortly after the Red Devils beat Valencia in their final preseason friendly at Old Trafford.
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Rooney got the nod over Robin van Persie and Darren Fletcher to replace Nemanja Vidic, who departed for Inter Milan this summer.
"For me it's always very important the choice of captain," Van Gaal said. "Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. 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."
Fletcher, who Van Gaal called "a natural leader", was named vice-captain. He will serve as captain when Rooney is unavailable.
"Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne," Van Gaal said.
The new United boss took his time in naming a captain, saying he wanted time to view the players during the preseason first. During their tour of America, Rooney said he would love to be United captain, and his patience was rewarded on Tuesday.
"It is a huge honour for me -- and for my family -- to be named captain of this great club," said Rooney, who has been with United since 2004. "It is a role I will perform with great pride.
"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. I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season."
Fletcher said he has "always worked well together" with Rooney and thanked Van Gaal "for putting his trust in me."