Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer has admitted that his club is scared stiff of Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney ahead of next week’s Champions League clash with United. Rooney has scored 33 goals this season and Beckenabauer, who won the World Cup as a player and a coach, hailed him as the greatest player in the world alongside Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
“Rooney is doing an absolutely fantastic job for Manchester United” said Beckenbauer “I must tell you that we at Bayern will fear him when we play United in the Champions League quarter finals. He is a brilliant player who is playing better than ever. It’s not easy to score 33 goals for your club in England or anywhere else.
“If he continues scoring and playing like that he can win the World Cup for England. I think that they will go to South Africa among the favourites along with Spain, Brazil and Argentina because of course, Argentina have Lionel Messi.
“Along with Rooney, he is the best player in the world right now. They are different players because Messi is so fast and imaginative while Rooney is so strong. But Wayne has made the biggest improvement to his game. He has changed the way he plays and at 24, has added a maturity to his game.
“Playing as the front man he makes it so hard for defenders to mark him and he’s able to use the crosses from both wings so well. I have never seen him play better and I have been watching him for a long time now”
United take on Bayern in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final tie in Germany next Tuesday with the return at Old Trafford on April 7. Beckenbauer said Rooney will be the key man when the two sides meet in a repeat of their epic 1999 Champions League final which United won 2-1 with two dramatic injury-time goals.
“Of course we would like to knock them out in revenge for losing the 1999 final, but it’s going to be tough” said Beckenbauer “and of course, United have Rooney. Anything is possible but first we have to stop Wayne, no one has been able to do that very often this season”
Will Rooney be too hard to handle for Bayern Munich and Germany?