Wayne Rooney has never won an FA Cup winner’s medal and the Manchester United captain is desperate to get his hands on one having fallen in love with the competition watching his team lose the final 20 years ago.
In a glittering 13-year career, the oldest cup competition in soccer remains the only major domestic trophy the England international has not lifted.
The 29-year-old has tasted defeat twice in the final with United, in a penalty shootout to Arsenal in 2005 and 1-0 to Chelsea in 2007.
With Monday’s quarter-final against Arsenal at Old Trafford looming, Rooney recalled the happy memory of seeing his former club Everton beat United 1-0 in the 1995 final.
“We haven’t been to a final for a few years, we want to try to win that game and we are looking forward to that,” Rooney told the United website (www.manutd.com).
“Of course, I think it is a massive trophy. It is a trophy that, growing up as a youngster, I used to love watching and I was fortunate enough to see Everton lift the FA Cup in 1995 when I was nine years old. It is something which I would love to do and, hopefully, it can be this year.”
With United fourth in the league, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, the FA Cup is Louis van Gaal’s only realistic chance of winning a trophy in his first season in charge.
Chelsea and champions Manchester City lost to lower league opposition in the fourth round and the winners at Old Trafford will be installed as favourites.
Liverpool, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion are the other Premier League teams left in the final eight.