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Who is Rory McIlroy's favourite football team?

8:00 PM GMT+8 25/10/2019
Rory McIlroy 2019
Which team does the golfer have the greatest affinity for? Does he go to their games? Goal takes a look

Rory McIlroy is one of the best golfers in the world with four major championships under his belt.

He is also a massive football fan and regularly attends matches across the world cheering on his favourite teams.

Goal takes a look at McIlroy's favourite football team, who his favourite player is, whether he plays football himself and more.

Contents

  1. Who is Rory McIlroy's favourite football team?
  2. Who is Rory McIlroy's favourite footballer?
  3. Does Rory McIlroy play football?
  4. Which other sports teams does Rory McIlroy support?

Who is Rory McIlroy's favourite football team?

Rory McIlroy is an avid supporter of Manchester United and the Northern Ireland international team.

In between competing in golf tournaments around the world, McIlroy is a regular visitor to Manchester United games and in 2014 he was invited to parade the Claret Jug at Old Trafford during the half-time interval.

"It was great," McIlroy said of his experience walking around the famous pitch on that occasion. "I couldn't wait and I was nervous at the same time."

After winning the Open Championship in 2014 at Royal Liverpool he was subjected to ironic boos by those in attendance when he remarked that he was a Red Devils fan.

A few years later, ahead of the 2018 Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, McIlroy annoyed some Manchester United fans by suggesting that he would like to see the Merseysiders win.

"As much as I’m a Manchester United fan, and United fans are supposed to hate Liverpool, I think it would be great to see a British team win,” he remarked.

McIlroy also follows the fortunes of his native Northern Ireland and has attended games at Windsor Park in Belfast as well as supporting the team at the European Championship.

When Northern Ireland qualified for Euro 2016, the golfer recorded a message of support to Michael O'Neill and the players.

"The Green and White Army are at the European Championship at last," said McIlroy. "We are so proud of you boys, good luck and dare to dream. Come on Northern Ireland!"

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Who is Rory McIlroy's favourite footballer?

McIlroy revealed in a 2017 interview with Sky Sports that his favourite player was Wayne Rooney.

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland star George Best is another one of Rory McIlroy's favourite footballers.

On Rooney, McIlroy said: "He wants to get involved going forward but he also wants to get involved when he goes back. I've always admired guys who work that hard on the pitch and he certainly does that."

When asked by FIFA which player he would sign for Manchester United if money was no object, McIlroy said that he would bring back George Best.

"I don't say that to avoid the question. I was watching old videos recently and Best was simply the best," said the golfer.

"He didn't just have talent. He was a thinker on the pitch and off it. He was aware of things and that's what gave him an aura on the pitch."

To emphasise his admiration for Best, he wore a t-shirt with an image of the former player emblazoned on it at Euro 2016 when supporting Northern Ireland.

Interestingly, McIlroy does not have a favourable opinion of former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, who was in his prime during McIlroy's youth.

The reason for animosity towards his fellow Irishman? A classic Keane autograph snub.

"I went and asked for his autograph at the Portmarnock Links Hotel when he was with the Ireland squad, and he said no," McIlroy said. "It just sort of stuck with me I guess."

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Does Rory McIlroy play football?

Rory McIlroy is not a professional footballer but he does play football for fun in his spare time.

His love of football almost prevented him from participating in a tournament in 2015 after he suffered an ankle ligament injury. However, he says the scare has not diminished his passion.

“I enjoy it," said McIlroy. "It’s unfortunate it happened. It can happen walking off a tee box. It can happen falling off a kerb on the side of the street. It can happen doing anything."

He added: "I might take precautionary measures next time - maybe wear ankle braces on both ankles. But I’m not going to stop doing what I do. I enjoy having that normality in my life. I’ve done it since I was a kid and won’t stop."

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Which other sports teams does Rory McIlroy support?

Rory McIlroy is a fan of a wide variety of sports and, as well as football, he also watches rugby, tennis and American football.

He is a fan of the Ulster rugby team - revealing his favourite player to be his friend Darren Cave - and also cheers on the Ireland rugby team, travelling to Japan to watch the 2019 World Cup.

His frequent trips to the United States have seen him rub shoulders his fair share of American athletes. He has developed a particular enjoyment for the NFL and college football, expressing support for the New England Patriots and Ohio State.

When it comes to tennis and the perennial Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer question, McIlroy is firmly in the Nadal camp.

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