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Of course, such displays saw the icon relegated to Manchester United's bench for the Champions League Round of 16 second-leg tie against Real Madrid.
Sir Alex Ferguson made an enormous call to leave his struggling player out. Even in poor form, many managers would start Rooney in the hope that his performance level suddenly increased. Until Nani's unfortunate sending off, it's safe to say Ferguson's decision well and truly paid off, as United looked like the only winners in a game that would end in controversy.
Rooney has felt this treatment before. Calling on his book for inspiration once again, the competitive player doesn't take kindly to sitting out (via The Daily Mirror):
"[After United thrashed Wigan 5-0] I go out for dinner with a few of the lads, and our other halves, to a hotel.
The next day, the manager pulls me up and tells me he’s not happy and doesn’t feel I’ve trained properly.
He fines me, but there’s worse to come. I’m dropped for the next game, on New Year’s Eve, against Blackburn.
At a lot of clubs, people wouldn’t bat an eyelid at players having a night out six days before a game. But that’s the difference at Manchester United and a mark of the high standards the manager demands.
It’s a big deal, another lesson learned."
United went on to lose the match 3-2, a result that would have huge ramifications come the end of the season when Manchester City claimed the Premier League title on goal difference. Despite acknowledging he wouldn't make the mistake again, it appears Rooney didn't learn another lesson after all.