Let us entertain you

It's been a tumultuous start to the new season for Wayne Rooney. A return to his free-scoring best has helped to push Sir Alex's men to the summit of Barclay's Premier League. But their UEFA Champions League campaign has begun more fitfully, with two draws. And England's qualification for Euro 2012 was overshadowed by Rooney's red card in Montenegro.

"In the Premier League it is more open and the ball is more up and down, whereas in the Champions League it is more about possession and a bit slower. So you do need to think a little more in Europe"
Wayne Rooney
Quotes of the week
After coming off the bench to help secure a draw with Liverpool at Anfield, United now travel to Galati and Rooney offers his thoughts on the magic of the UEFA Champions League, and on the season ahead.

Wayne Rooney: Most players just follow their own routine, as everybody prepares for a big game differently. We'll sometimes be listening to music. Patrice Evra is normally in charge of that. For me, I'll normally have a go on the exercise bike to warm up and just try to stay relaxed by chatting to the other lads, or maybe playing a computer game. The manager will talk to us, reminding us of tactics and things like that, but then he always tells us to go out and enjoy ourselves.

How does his experience help?

Wayne Rooney:The manager has seen it all and been so successful so he knows how to handle the big occasions. He has that presence about him, too. We know we're in good hands when you see him walk into the changing room before a game. But the senior players are a great example, too. You just listen to some of the things they say or the way they do things and prepare for a big game. When you're sat in the changing room next to players like Giggsy, you know that the team will be alright.

What is the most intimidating atmosphere you have ever played in?

Wayne Rooney:Definitely in Turkey. It doesn't matter which team you're playing there, but whenever you play in Turkey you know the atmosphere will be fantastic. It's really noisy and the fans are so passionate. It can be intimidating to play in, but it's brilliant to be a part of. I've played there a few times and it's always the same. You can hardly hear each other. They really enjoy their football.

What are your first memories of the UEFA Champions League as a kid?

Wayne Rooney:What I remember most of all was just seeing the passion in the players. I enjoyed watching the great teams like Real Madrid and Manchester United and AC Milan, but I remember as a kid how when a team won the Champions League it looked like such a special moment. You could see the feeling on the players' faces and what it meant to them. With all the music and fireworks when the winning team gets the trophy, it looked amazing. So for me to play in this competition and to have won it with Manchester United is something I am really proud of.

Do you watch the games when United aren't playing?

Wayne Rooney:Yeah, I love just sitting down and watching. You get some great games in the Champions League and I'm always watching football on TV. There are a lot of goals in the group stage, but in the knockout stages the games start to get a little more tense, so they tend to be more tactical. But that's what makes the competition so special. Obviously I can't watch when I'm playing so I think it's good having the games split across Tuesdays and Wednesdays so we can all get to watch the games - for the fans, and for me too!

The great European teams like Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid have a tradition of playing entertaining football. With so much at stake, do teams still have a duty to entertain?

Wayne Rooney:Yeah, I think as a player you obviously you want to play entertaining football as much as the fans do. We want to play good football, and it's always been a tradition of this club and other clubs like Barcelona. Obviously in some games you know that won't happen and it's more about getting the win. But the manager always tells us to keep playing and to keep going forward. That's the style he and Manchester United will always play. But obviously if you don't play well, you still have to win.

Do you have to adapt your game very much from the Premier League?

Wayne Rooney:In the Premier League it is more open and the ball is more up and down, whereas in the Champions League it is more about possession and a bit slower. So you do need to think a little more in Europe. You need to be patient. As a striker, I know you need to time your runs perfectly because I know I won't get that many opportunities to score, whereas in the Premier League you will maybe get a few more chances as it is a bit more open. Opposition defenders can mark you a lot tighter too, but that is what makes the matches so good to play in. You know you're playing the best in Europe.

What's the secret to winning it?

Wayne Rooney:You need a good squad with strength in-depth because you have to play a lot of games to win the Champions League now. You need to keep the ball well or you will be made to pay, and you need to take your chances when they come along. You always need a bit of luck along the way, too. Obviously we were disappointed to lose in the final last year but we hope we can go one step further this year.

And finally, are you still the king of the computer games at Old Trafford?

Wayne Rooney:We don't play together so much these days, but we do play online. A lot of the lads at the club play online too, but they're on PlayStations and I'm an X-Box man so I tend to play other people. I play online most days and FIFA is my favourite. There was one time I was playing online and somebody found out who I was. I suddenly got hundreds of requests, so I changed my name so nobody can find me. I still play in secret, so a lot of people have probably played me without realising it.