Former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has raised a few eyebrows after describing Louis van Gaal as the best coach he ever played under.
Rooney spent nine years under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, who brought him to Old Trafford from Everton in 2004. They went on to have a number of high profile disputes in that time, but it has come as a surprise to see Rooney name the Dutchman ahead of Sir Alex.
After guiding United back into the Champions League in his first season, Van Gaal was sacked the following year despite winning the FA Cup. It was to be his last managerial post as he announced his retirement the following year.
In an interview with The Mirror, Rooney revealed the impact that Van Gaal had over those two seasons.
“Van Gaal is by far the best coach I have worked with - one hundred per cent," he revealed.
"His tactical skills, his way of preparing and his attention to the finest of details, I found amazing. I admired that in him. I had never looked at stuff like that before.
“Van Gaal knows that the way he works is tough for players. I made him aware of that at the time and we talked about this very well together.
“I regret how it all ended, yet I know one thing for sure - I have learnt a lot from him and I am definitely going to use those lessons for when I am a manager.”
Rooney admitted he has taken inspiration from his former England team-mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who both moved into management last season.
“It is great to see that Frank and Steve have been given these chances at big clubs," he added.
"That gives me hope too because I do think about these things. But for the time being, I am enjoying my life as footballer. I want to win more trophies."
United and England's all-time leading goalscorer has still got plenty to offer on the pitch. He's scored ten goals in 18 appearances for DC United this season, including a stunning strike from his own half against Orlando last week.
He says he's received managerial offers from England and the USA, but for the time-being is happy to continue working towards his coaching badges whilst playing in MLS.