Former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has revealed that it is not Cristiano Ronaldo but Carlos Tevez who was his favourite player to star alongside during his Old Trafford playing days.
The former England international, now manager of Derby County, enjoyed a celebrated Premier League career anchored around a glittering tenure at the Theatre of Dreams, where he played alongside some of the game's best.
Yet when asked to choose which team-mate he enjoyed playing with the most, Rooney admitted that it was former Argentina star Tevez who he considered a cut above the rest.
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What has been said?
“Tevez. I just loved our connection." Rooney told SPORTbible when asked who was his favourite player to play with. "The two of us up front, we complimented each other really well.
“Normally if I played with Louis Saha, Ruud van Nistelrooy or Robin van Persie – these strikers were always the No.9 and I’d play as a No.10.
“With Tevez we could rotate, I’d be the No.9, he’d take the No.9 spot and I’d be No.10. When we lost the ball we’d be like two bulls trying to get it back. As a strike partner, he was the one I enjoyed playing with the most.”
Rooney recalls devestation at Tevez exit
Tevez's tenure at Old Trafford - the centrepiece of which came with the 2008 Champions League Final triumph - was somewhat overshadowed by the player's infamous third-party ownership, and a subsequent move to neighbours Manchester City left Rooney stricken by his sudden exit in 2009.
“[It was] devastating," the forward added. "I enjoyed playing with him so much and I knew something was going on because there was the issue with his ownership in terms of whether it was the club or an agent.
“It was actually very cheap to buy him and for whatever reason we didn’t buy him. I think Man City got him for about £20 million ($27m), which is incredible really.
“You saw what a great player he was when he went there. I was devastated.”