• Champions League

Rooney: We need to play like Bayern

ESPN staff
February 24, 2014
Michel: Olympiakos' enthusiasm can cause United problems

Wayne Rooney says Manchester United need to play like Bayern Munich in order to keep progressing.

The striker, preparing to face Olympiakos in Athens on Tuesday night, is desperate to win a second Champions league title.

He believes David Moyes has the team to help him achieve that goal but insists they must emulate Bayern to overcome stubborn opposition.

Rooney said: "Bayern Munich put in nearly the perfect performance at Arsenal. The way they keep the ball and open teams up is great to watch.

"We have to go out and try to do that - keep the ball, be patient and break teams down. A lot of the teams we're playing are sitting back so it's down to us to move the ball quickly and break them down."

United's usual style is more traditionally English, making good use of their wide players and playing on the front foot.

Whichever way they go about trying to dismantle Olympiakos, a never-say-die attitude is the minimum Rooney expects.

"We certainly have the quality in the team to go really far," he said. "The year Chelsea won it they nearly went out of the competition about three times. You just have to keep going, whether or not we get the right result or not.

"We're looking to get the victory to take home with us and then try to progress to the quarter-finals. In knockout tournaments anything can happen - every game is going to be tough and you probably need a bit of luck to go through. But we certainly have quality in our team."

Rooney ended speculation about his future last week when he signed a new five-and-a-half year deal with United.

After celebrating with a goal in the Premier League victory over Crystal Palace, he has turned his attention to Europe and his side's last-16 first leg in Greece.

It has been three years since United reached the Champions League quarter-finals and Rooney says it is time to stop the rot.

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"You always want to win it,'' Rooney told a news conference in Piraeus. "One is never enough, especially at this club. You have to keep trying to get into the final when you are at this club.

"The feeling you get when you win it is incredible, so there is no way that you want to stop. If we can go to the final then it would be great for us. It would be an opportunity to win another trophy, and hopefully we can do that."

Rooney was asked how he would like to be remembered should he, as now expected, finish his career at Old Trafford, and responded: "As a winner. Every player wants to win. I'm no different. I've grown up all my life wanting to win trophies.

"That's the main aim. That's what we aim to do - win trophies - so that's what you'll be judged on when you finish your career. That's not just me - that's the whole team.''

Olympiakos will be without top scorer Javier Saviola on Tuesday and despite the Greek side sitting unbeaten atop their domestic league, United are favourites. David Moyes insists he is not taking anything for granted, however.

"It will be far from easy," Moyes said. "Olympiakos came through a difficult group with Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain [and Anderlecht]. They have a great home record so it will be a difficult night.

"I see this as an opportunity to try to win the competition. We have to go as far as possible and win it if we can. It'll be tough - Olympiakos have a good record here and we know over the tie we'll have to play well."

Moyes confirmed that injured defenders Phil Jones and Jonny Evans have not travelled with the squad, while Nani is also unavailable because of a hamstring injury. Rafael and Danny Welbeck are back following their respective head and knee problems.

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