Wayne Rooney’s emotional outburst after 2008 Champions League final


Wayne Rooney got his hands on the Champions League trophy when Manchester United defeated Chelsea in the 2008 final.

The United legend had two more opportunities to win the tournament in 2009 and 2011 but was bested by Lionel Messi and Barcelona on both occasions.

Still, the 2008 success was another highlight in an extraordinary career for United’s all-time leading goalscorer. 

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side won a penalty shoot-out after Edwin van der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka’s effort from 12 yards.

Rooney played no part in the shoot-out, though, having been taken off in the first half of extra-time.

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Rooney missed the shoot-out

The game went to extra-time after the two teams were unable to be separated after 90 minutes. Frank Lampard cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener and there were no more goals in the second half.

Ferguson switched things up in the first additional period by replacing Rooney with Nani.

It was a bold choice as Rooney would have been United’s best option in the shoot-out.

Thankfully for Fergie, the move didn’t backfire. Nani even scored one of United’s seven penalties and Anelka’s miss gave the Red Devils their third European Cup.

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Rooney was devastated after final

However, the substitution hurt Rooney and the United star broke into tears at the bar in United’s Moscow hotel afterwards.

In an interview with The Athletic, United’s former power-development coach Mick Clegg has revealed Rooney was so devastated that he cried on his shoulder.

Not only that, but Rooney criticised his own performance.

Clegg recalled that Rooney, visibly upset, said to him: “It was s***, that. I was s***. I was absolutely s***. I’m so f***ing disappointed.”

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The report adds that Clegg ‘could not believe what he heard’.

Clegg continued: “He went on to have an emotional outburst about his performance, to the point where he started filling up.

“Then suddenly, Wayne was crying with his head on my shoulder. He just couldn’t believe how the game had gone.”

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‘He didn’t feel part of the night’

In the final, Rooney had been put out wide to accommodate Ronaldo being used centrally as well as Carlos Tevez’s inclusion in the starting line-up.

“Wayne was a huge part of the team and a big part of the success, but he just didn’t feel part of the night because he’d been taken off,” Clegg added. 

“It really touched him deep inside and he needed to get that out. I felt so sorry for him.

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“He wept bitterly, and it felt almost like he came to me because this is what should have been his great time, where he’d done the business and become this fantastic player, but instead he was taken off and the headlines went to Cristiano for scoring and Edwin for saving the penalty.”

It’s a real shame that Rooney’s immediate reaction to the match was one of disappointment.

Here’s hoping that 14 years on, he can enjoy his one and only Champions League success.


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