Manchester United legend and club record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has hit out at Sir Alex Ferguson’s tactics in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League final.
United famously lost both finals to Lionel Messi’s Barcelona 2-0 and 3-1 respectively.
During his column in the Sunday Times, Rooney has written about both of those finals and questioned whether or not Ferguson got his tactics wrong.
United were arguably outplayed in both finals as the 2008-09 and 2010-11 Barcelona sides will go down in footballing history as two of the best sides to ever play the game.
Failing to win more Champions League titles has always been one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest regrets which he openly admits in his 2013 autobiography.
Addressing the approach the United team were instructed to take, Rooney said: “We lost two Champions League finals going toe-to-toe with Guardiola’s Barcelona, by trying to press high and get round them, which was suicidal.
“I remember Alex Ferguson saying ‘we’re Man United and we’re going to attack, it’s in the culture of this football club’ and thinking ‘I’m not too sure about this’.
“I think all the players knew, deep down, it was the wrong approach, that we were abandoning the way that had brought us success in that 2008 semi-final — and sure enough both times we got outplayed. There is being true to the club, but then there’s sitting back afterwards and thinking ‘we lost’.”
Rooney’s comments come ahead of his former side’s European restart which is scheduled to take place on August 5 when the Reds will host Austrian side LASK.
However, after securing Champions League football next season after a 2-0 Premier League final day victory over fellow top four hopefuls Leicester City, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be aiming to have the opportunity to go one better than Ferguson did in 2009 and 2011.