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Ignore the critics - Rooney is one of the world's best

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Rooney scored United's winner against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday
Rooney scored United's winner against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has hailed his team-mate Wayne Rooney as "one of the best players in the world" after he silenced his critics with a winning goal against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night.

Rooney has come under fire after a series of indifferent displays as United's lead striker this season, yet Herrera is convinced he still has so much to offer as a leader of Louis van Gaal's side.

"I create my own opinion and my opinion is clear - Wayne Rooney is one of the best,” Herrera told reporters.

“Wayne is one of the most important players for us, he is our leader, our captain and we are happy when he scores, but when he doesn’t, he fights for the team and helps a lot.

“The goal is very important for him but I think also he has a very strong mind and when he doesn’t score, he keeps fighting in the same way and that is important for us.

“He is one of the best players in the world, one of the stars and he is not selfish.

“For us it’s very important when he feels good, but if he scores, of course, it’s much better for everyone. But if he doesn’t score he fights in the same way

“I can say only what I see in the club, and what I see is that he gives everything, every day for us and for each other and we see every day the same.

“The way he fights and trains and the way he gives to the rest of the players his opinion, everything. Maybe the people outside see only in the pitch, but he is also very, very important outside for everyone.”

Van Gaal echoed Herrera's views after the game against CSKA Moscow, with Rooney now set to continue his role as United's lead forward in Saturday's Premier League game agianst West Bromwich Albion.