Quote of the Day: Ferguson Confirms Rooney’s Greatness, Whiteness

Ahead of last week’s Champions League clash between Benfica and Manchester United, Benfica coach Jorge Jesus called Man U striker Wayne Rooney the “best British player so far.”

Jesus then added, “but he doesn’t look like a British player but an Argentinian or Brazilian.”

Pressed for a response by The Sun, Alex Ferguson, Rooney’s coach at Man U, agreed—to an extent:

“If you look at Pelé, for instance, he was a very aggressive attacker also who could look after himself, so can Rooney. They have similarities that way—strength, speed, determination, but he’s white, completely white.”

Thanks for the clarification, Alex, but we’re pretty sure the Benfica manager was referring to Rooney’s style of play, not his physical appearance.

Advertisements

MLS Roundup: Vancouver Signs Gambian DP, Rooney, Ferguson Meet the Press

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced the signing of Gambian international and former Belgian league standout Mustapha “Toubabo” Jarju today.

A 24-year-old striker, Jarju scored 18 goals in 31 games for RAEC Mons last season, leading the side to promotion to the Belgian top flight. He has 25 appearances and four goals for the Gambian national team, and is an alternate captain for his national side.

Jarju becomes the first African designated player in MLS history, and the fifth Gambian player in the league, after Sanna Nyassi (Colorado), Sainey Nyassi (Sanna’s twin, New England), Kenny Mansally (New England) and Mamadou “Futty” Danso (Portland).

•••

Manchester United has landed on U.S. shores in advance of the first game of their preseason tour (against New England on Wednesday) and coach Alex Ferguson had some interesting things to say about MLS and soccer in the U.S. Chief among these was his notion that the country should form several leagues, due to its size:

“I always thought the problem would be the size of the country. Travelling from Boston to Los Angeles is a long haul. But in Brazil they have two leagues. They could easily do that in the United States if it takes off and they got more clubs involved. In fact, you could have four leagues because of the size of the country and the population base. There are unbelievable possibilities for the United States.”

It would never happen, but we like it. You create regional leagues to get around the problem of travel (which is real; ask any MLSer), and then take the winners of them and do a playoff (or championship game) in one neutral site. Not a bad idea. Commissioner Garber, your thoughts?

Wayne Rooney is part of the Man U contingent that’s here, and he spoke with the MLS website today, saying he thinks the league is on the rise and “in the next five, 10 years, it’ll be one of the major leagues in football.” From  your lips to God’s ears, Wayne.

Rooney goes on to name-check Brian McBride and Joe-Max Moore, both of whom he trained with at Everton (Joe-Max “when I was a young lad”). Click here for the full article on Red Bull midfielder John Rooney‘s older brother.

New England–Man U kicks off at 8:00 tomorrow night on ESPN2.

Vinnie Jones Delivers Third-Greatest Halftime Speech in Soccer History

Number one is Pelé, Michael Caine and the boys in the escape tunnel at halftime against the Germans in John Huston’s Victory.

Number two is whatever Alex Ferguson said to Man U the day he hit Beckham in the head with a shoe.

And number three is right here—actor and former Chelsea, Wimbledon, and QPR tough guy Vinnie Jones lighting a fire under his Sunday pub-league team, Hollywood All-Stars:

Hard to settle on just one favorite quote from that, but we’ll go with:

“Mikey! F***ing get in there, come in the midfield, go and pick someone up.  You want sit out there on the f***ing left side and f***ing toss it off!”

Related: Jones has supposedly been working on a Victory remake for years, with designs on casting Beckham in the Bobby Moore role.

Hat tip to the Henchman for the clip.