Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has revealed that a cameo appearance in the Europa League final two seasons ago helped him realise that his time at Old Trafford was coming to an end.
The 33-year-old spent 13 years on the books with Manchester United following a £33m move from boyhood club Everton in 2014. Rooney would return to Goodison Park for one season before joining Major League Soccer side DC United earlier this year.
Having recently made his 120th appearance for England during a friendly against the USMNT, Rooney has revealed that there are two cup finals in 2017 which stay in his mind as what forced him away from Manchester United.
"There are times when you doubt yourself as a player and think: 'Am I good enough?'" Rooney told Sky Sports.
"The time José Mourinho left me out of the Manchester United team ... there are moments when you do doubt yourself. I believe I was good enough to get back in the team, but I never really got that opportunity.
"I came on for one minute in the Europa League final, I was about to come on against Southampton in the League Cup final, and in those moments it was embarrassing.
"In the Southampton game, Mourinho came to me and said: 'I want you to lift the trophy.' I was like: 'Well, I didn't even play in the game.'
"He was persistent with it, and I literally lifted it and moved it on. I just knew ... What was I doing? I needed to move on and go somewhere else."
Rooney made a total of 559 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 253 goals and claiming 146 assists. The veteran overtook Sir Bobby Charlton as the club's all-time leading goalscorer during his career at Old Trafford, as well as becoming England's most prolific marksman.