Rooney focused on 19th Man United title

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney insists winning a record 19th league title for the club would mean just as much to him as it would to the Old Trafford faithful.

United currently lead the Premier League by six points from Chelsea with only four games remaining, putting them on the brink of overtaking Liverpool’s previous record of 18 league titles and becoming English football’s most successful club.

Rooney himself has recently rediscovered his best form after a difficult start to the season, netting seven times in his last 11 games to help United build a sizeable lead over their title rivals.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has often stated his desire to “knock Liverpool off their perch” at the top of the English game, and Rooney says his status as a boyhood Evertonian means he is even more motivated by the prospect of surpassing the Anfield giants’ achievements.

Speaking in an interview with Red Devils magazine Inside United, the 25-year-old said:

"[Winning a record 19th league title] is definitely something I've been thinking about a lot. I grew up as an Everton fan so to be part of the team to overtake Liverpool's record of titles would be brilliant and it would mean so much to us players as well as fans.

“I know all the Everton fans want us to do it and hopefully we can.”

If United do go on to win a record 19th league title, Rooney’s astonishing bicycle kick winner against arch-rivals Manchester City in February will surely go down as one of the season’s most iconic and decisive moments.

The goal itself was lauded at the time as a piece of exceptional skill, but the England international has admitted its execution was borne out of pure instinct rather than flawless technique.

"It came off my shin, didn't it?” he joked. “I remember Nani's cross taking a deflection, the ball coming over and just hitting it. You're always working on your technique but goals like that are instinctive.

“When I was in the air, I remember Berba [Dimitar Berbatov] shouting towards me as if to say 'What are you doing?' Then I turned round and it was in the top corner.”

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By Liam Twomey