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Rio expecting Rooney to star this season

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Aug 2008

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Rio Ferdinand believes that his Manchester United and England team-mate Wayne Rooney will step out of Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow and be the star of Old Trafford this season.

The 22-year-old was forced to take a supporting role last season as the Portuguese winger's 42 goals made him the leading man at Old Trafford.

But Ferdinand, United's captain last season in the absence of Gary Neville, believes Rooney's contribution to the team has been under-rated.

And if manager Sir Alex Ferguson plays Rooney in his favoured position more often from now on, the centre-half is confident the striker will soon be the main man.

“We've got to wait to see what will happen in the transfer market with regard to signing a new striker, but what Wayne did last season was staggering,” Ferdinand told The People on Sunday.

“He had to take the responsibility of leading the line on his shoulders and he was awesome.”

He added: “He played out of position a lot. He played on the left and sacrificed himself so many times for the team.

“I know the manager wants to see Wayne playing in his more accustomed position, just off the front.

“Maybe that will happen if we sign a striker and then you'll see how dangerous he can be.”

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