Mourinho believes his old United star will help grow the quality and interest in MLS further as America looks to move domestic game on to next level
JOSE MOURINHO has backed Wayne Rooney’s decision to join the growing list of stars making the move to Major League Soccer.
Rooney has completed his move to DC United this week, bringing to end a glittering career in the Premier League.
His former Manchester United boss Mourinho has no doubt the ex-England captain will be a big hit across the Atlantic.
And he also feels the arrival of Rooney coupled with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at LA Galaxy will help soccer grow in popularity in the US compared to the traditional favourites of NFL, baseball and basketball.
Mourinho said: “When he made it at Everton, his boyhood club, the world was surprised with that kid and then he went to Manchester United and he had the incredible career he had.
“Then in the Premier League again at Everton Football Club, so I think his career in England was perfect.
He decides the MLS [is next] and in MLS, you have always some iconic players that are going to end their career there.
“You had Gerrard, you had Lampard, you had Vieira, you had so many of them. David Beckham played there too.
“You now have Zlatan, you now have Wayne.
“I just hope he enjoys it and, of course, he’ll bring the attention that the MLS needs to attract more people, to steal some people from the other sports that normally the American people are in love with.”
Rooney’s arrival has already caught the attention of fans in Washington, with the 32-year-old mobbed when he flew in to sign his three year deal deal.
No sooner had he completed the formalities, then he was straight back out joining his new local public to catch England in World Cup action against Belgium on Thursday.
The forward has received his clearance to work by US immigration officials and is expected to link up with his new team-mates for training next week .