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Champions League: Why I ran after Messi to sign ball for me – Rooney

Former England striker Wayne Rooney has revealed that he kept the match ball from Manchester United’s Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

Rooney said he had to keep the ball, having got Lionel Messi to sign it after the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley Stadium in London.

Barcelona won the game 3-1, with Lionel Messi, Pedro, and David Villa scoring for the Catalan giants, while Rooney scored a consolation for the Red Devils.

But despite the heavy defeat in the final, Rooney said he took the match ball home after getting Messi, Pedro, and Villa’s signatures on it.

“At the end, I grabbed the ball and sought out Lionel Messi, David Villa, and Pedro — Barcelona’s scorers,” Rooney penned in The Times.

“I got them to sign it and I still have the ball in my house.”

Disclosing why he took the ball home, Rooney added:

“Why would I do something like that? We’d lost a final, and I was gutted, but I also had this sense of having been part of something special.

“It was a feeling that I had just shared a pitch with some of the greatest players who ever played. Barcelona were incredible and Messi was the catalyst for all of it.”

Meanwhile, Rooney has told Kylian Mbappe to leave Paris Saint-Germain for Manchester United or Real Madrid.

Mbappe was the highest goalscorer at the just concluded FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar. Rooney believes this is the only way Mbappe can succeed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the game.

Mbappe has already won the FIFA World Cup at 18 and is considered the next megastar in world football.

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