Former Manchester United coach Mick Clegg has claimed that Wayne Rooney’s aversion to gym work is one of the reasons why he was unable to keep up with Cristiano Ronaldo when the Portuguese star shot to the top of the game.
Rooney’s fitness has long been a cause of contention and was notably unfit when he returned from pre season last summer. His lack of fitness and performance in the season opener against Everton saw him dropped the following game and some feel that was the starting point for some of the issues that have caused ill feeling between the player and former boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ronaldo on the other hand has incorporated the gym work into his training, and his change in physique aided his game.
Whilst he remains a top player, Rooney has struggled to reach the heights that Ronaldo has and Clegg told The Sun his attitude to work in general has played a part in this:
‘Wayne didn’t see the importance of the gym really. He’d say, ‘I’m here to play football’. I always wish I could have pushed Wayne that bit further.
‘Wayne was always a big lad and was afraid of bulking up if he spent too much time in the gym.
‘That’s what set Cristiano Ronaldo apart. He would do whatever training I prescribed and more.
‘He lived and breathed football 24/7 and his dedication was phenomenal.
‘Wayne could still be as good as Cristiano if he emulated his attitude to the gym — he is an amazing athlete when he puts his mind to it.’