Rooney was ‘p***** off’ at prospect of being taken off for Kleberson at Man Utd

The best footballers in the world never want to be taken off during a crucial match – especially for a player they consider inferior to themselves.

That probably explains why former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney was so p***** off at the prospect of being replaced by Kleberson during a fixture against Newcastle in 2005.

Funnily enough, that same afternoon saw Rooney score one of his best goals of his career – a crashing first-time volley from outside the box that thundered past Shay Given to draw United level.

But it could have been very different had Sir Alex Ferguson gone through with his original plan to replace Rooney with Brazilian flop Kleberson.

An unhappy Rooney already had it in his head that Newcastle's players were getting away with all sorts of fouls.

And his demeanour wasn't helped when he saw Kleberson warming up on the touchline.

Speaking to Alan Shearer about the match for The Athletic, he said: "There was one bad tackle in particular — if it had been anyone else on the pitch, it would have been a yellow card! I was p***** off.

What is Rooney's best ever goal for Manchester United? Let us know in the comments section.

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"You can see it in my face. Then I saw Kleberson warming up on the touchline, ready to come on for me. I was even more p***** off that I was going to be taken off for him."

Thankfully for Rooney – and United – Ferguson never got round to making that substitution after the former Everton man drew the Red Devils level with that iconic strike.

The 36-year-old took his frustration out on the ball – nearly bursting a hole in the net and then smacking the ball back into the goal again after scoring.

Kleberson did come on in the end, replacing Darren Fletcher four minutes later, but Rooney remained on the pitch as Wes Brown completed the turnaround with a goal 15 minutes from time.

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