<
>

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney: No repeat of boxing goal celebration

Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney has abandoned his boxing goal celebration after his five-year-old son copied it at school.

Rooney had been caught on camera, in a video published by The Sun newspaper, being knocked to the ground by former teammate Phil Bardsley as they jokingly sparred in his kitchen at his Cheshire home.

And the striker mocked the incident when he scored United's third goal against Tottenham, punching the air before tumbling backwards to the ground as though he had been dealt a knockout blow.

But Kai Rooney, the striker's eldest child, followed suit and Rooney told national newspapers: "My wife went to pick him up from school and saw him doing that in the classroom. I'm sure you won't be seeing that celebration again."

Rooney said United manager Louis van Gaal had no problem with his top scorer boxing at home and believes the whole incident has been overblown and feels he has no reason to say sorry.

"I've always loved boxing," he added. "Unfortunately, sometimes, it didn't go too well for you. I knew it was going into the newspaper and I spoke to the manager. He didn't see it as a big issue. I didn't see it as a big issue. Other people obviously do.

"I like boxing. I come from a boxing background. It happened. If I'd felt it was that wrong, I'd have apologised to the right people."

Rooney is the third-highest scorer in England's history after striking 46 times in 101 caps and is closing in on Sir Bobby Charlton's record of 49 goals for the national team.

England face Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday and Italy in a friendly on Tuesday, giving Rooney a chance to close in on Gary Lineker, who scored 48 goals, and then Charlton.

"It would be great if I could equal or beat the record but my concentration is 100 percent on the victories on Friday and Tuesday," Rooney added.

"It will be a fantastic moment for myself, a proud moment. Hopefully it will happen, and sooner rather than later, but I have to keep concentrating on what has got me to this position."

Charlton, who is also United's record scorer and a director at Old Trafford, is a confidant for the 29-year-old.

"I speak to him quite regularly at the club especially after games," said Rooney. "He's a great for Manchester United and England. I don't want to bring it up and say: 'I'm close to beating it.' He always gives me great advice and I have great chats with him."