Rooney backing Hernandez
Wayne Rooney has tipped strike partner Javier Hernandez to be the Champions League hero against Barcelona.
By @SkySportsJamesP - Follow me
Last Updated: 28/05/11 10:47am
Wayne Rooney has tipped Manchester United strike partner Javier Hernandez to be the UEFA Champions League hero against Barcelona.
Hernandez has proved to be the buy of the season since his unheralded £7million arrival from Chivas last summer
Not only has the Mexican scored 19 goals in United's charge to the Premier League title and the final of Europe's most prestigious club competition, his pace has helped provide Rooney with more room to display his own talents.
As the 25-year-old is now in the best form since injuring his ankle against Bayern Munich, it is little wonder he speaks so enthusiastically of Hernandez's contribution.
And, perhaps it is no surprise either Rooney feels his team-mate is destined to earn the greatest comparison possible to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the man he is likened to so often.
"The season he has had is incredible," Rooney told the club's official website.
"Nobody expected this from him. He is a nice lad who works very hard in training. We often stay out a bit longer and do a bit of finishing work together in order to try and improve.
"He is playing every week now and scoring a lot of goals.
"What he has done is quite incredible. It wouldn't surprise me if he ends up scoring the winning goal in the final to top it off."
Rooney revels in the space behind Hernandez, knowing defenders cannot squeeze too tight for fear of being burned off in a long chase for a ball over their heads.
It means Rooney can roam with far greater flexibility, which could prove to be crucial against a team whose weakness seems to be behind their highly-talented midfield.
"The position I've been playing, just behind Javier, has been working well for the team," Rooney continued.
"I do need to help out in midfield when we don't have the ball. But I also feel I could influence the game in the way I'd like."
Hernandez still remembers the day he found out that he was wanted by United, although at the time he did not believe the move was genuine.
It was only when the Mexico starlet saw his father crying about the news that he realised it was real and that his dreams would be coming true.
"The first I heard about it was when my father said to me 'there's a person interested in you, he wants to talk with you," Hernandez remembers.
"He gave me Jim Lawlor's (United's South American scout) card with the United badge on it.
"I didn't know if it was genuine or not because some agents in Mexico have cards on which they put the badges of all the big teams of the world.
"I thought 'okay, it's one more of them'. But my father told me 'no, it is really Manchester United'.
"I said to him 'don't joke with me about that' and then when I saw my father crying I knew it was really true, that it was Manchester United."