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Newcastle legend Shearer: Rooney key for Man Utd overcoming Real Madrid

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer believes Wayne Rooney will be key for Manchester United against Real Madrid tomorrow night.

Shearer wrote in The Sun: "He has long since stopped being the man on the shoulder of the last defender, the fulcrum of all striking options. Rooney's versatility means he is here, there and everywhere, depending on the opposition and situation.

"So while Ronaldo was causing menace in the box, Rooney was operating in a right-midfield role, often dropping deep and trying to help his defence to counter the effectiveness of Real going forward.

"It was a role he also played to great effect in the 2008 semi-final of the Champions League against Barcelona, when his side got a crucial goalless draw in the Nou Camp - a night Ronaldo missed a penalty by the way.

"Indeed, in the last two seasons of Ronaldo's career at Old Trafford, it was Rooney who was willing to make way for a player who was emerging as one of the greatest attacking forces.

"Rooney was happy to go wide, deep, off the frontman, act as a wing-back... whatever the manager wanted. After the game in Madrid, one article said Rooney had now simply turned into a workhorse. But what manager would not want a player with that versatility?"

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Tribal Football Staff

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