But he takes great pride from the partnership with Robin van Persie that helped United win the title for the last time in 2013.
He told De Telegraaf: “Ruud van Nistelrooy was great. I loved him. He was one of my biggest heroes when I was young. It was like a dream come true when I was on the same pitch as him.
“It was an honour to watch him from close and to learn from him. He was such a brilliant finisher. I never really got close with Ruud off the pitch, but that was mainly because of the age gap. I was just a kid and Ruud was in his late twenties. And he was so experienced."
He added: “I loved playing with Van Persie. He was a world-class player and it was an absolute privilege to play with him. But I have other great memories of Robin off the pitch.
“Our karaoke night at Christmas was fantastic. I remember doing a song with Robin's wife, Bouchra. She had a terrific voice. I grew really close to Robin. On and off the pitch we got on really well. We spent a lot of good times together."