Rooney eyes place in history
© AFP

Wayne Rooney admits that a sense of history is driving Manchester United ahead of the UEFA Champions League final with Chelsea on Wednesday.

The showdown in Moscow comes at the end of an emotional season for the club that marked the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

Sir Bobby Charlton - a survivor of the accident in 1958 that killed eight members of Sir Matt Busby's young team on the way back from a European Cup game in Belgrade - has already addressed Sir Alex Ferguson's squad and urged them to claim the trophy as a fitting tribute to those former players.

This week's clash also marks the 40th anniversary of Busby's rebuilt team finally winning the competition against Benfica in 1968 - the club's only victory until the dramatic 1999 win over Bayern Munich.

"It is very important with the history, 50 years since Munich and 40 years since we won it and obviously it is very good for ourselves," admitted Rooney.

We need to go out there and try and enjoy it. If we enjoy playing then I am sure we will do well
Wayne Rooney on the secret to a Manchester United win.

"United had some brilliant teams, I have looked at some old videos and they look like they were great teams. We need to go out there and try and enjoy it. If we enjoy playing then I am sure we will do well."

Ferguon's youthful side, built around Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, has brought comparisons with the current crop of players and Busby's acclaimed 'babes' and having clinched the Premier League title ahead of Chelsea, they are now aiming to do the double over the London side.

Praise for Drogba
Rooney is convinced that will mark a landmark achievement by his team-mates and is hoping for a repeat of his experience in 1999 when he watched Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer score the added time goals that delivered an unexpected win.

"I watched it at my mates and most were Liverpool fans and only me and a mate who were Everton fans," he said. "We wanted United to win so when they won I was really happy, we were winding the Liverpool fans up!

"After the game on the radio they were interviewing United fans around Manchester and the atmosphere sounded brilliant and hopefully I can be involved in that again. It is a horrible feeling waiting for it. I would like to go to bed tonight and wake up next Wednesday, its like Christmas when you are a kid.

"I just can't wait now. It was a fantastic feeling after winning the league and we can relax more going into the game. You always want to be happy going into a game."

Rooney has no doubt Chelsea's main threat will stem from striker Didier Drogba, but warned the familiarity between the two teams means the Moscow clash could be decided by the narrowest of margins.

He is big and strong, he scores headers, left foot right foot and he is unplayable.
Rooney on Chelsea's Didier Drogba.

"Drogba is unplayable at times," Rooney said. " He is big and strong, he scores headers, left foot right foot and he is unplayable. Sometimes he seems as if his head is not there, but when he is playing at his best he is an unbelievable player.

"I think Chelsea will be a little bit more defensive. If they go 1-0 up it is hard to get at them but if we go 1-0 up then we try and get a second goal so I think that's the major difference.

"We know what our best system is and they know what their best system is so there will not be many surprises there."