Wayne Rooney
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.Reuters

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has appointed striker Wayne Rooney as the club's new captain and Darren Fletcher as vice-captain.

"For me it's always very important the choice of captain. Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy," said Van Gaal.

"He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.

The 28-year-old has replaced Nemanja Vidic, who transferred to Inter Milan at the end of last season. Rooney was a widely tipped to take over the armband under David Moyes but his dismissal led to many doubts as to who would be the club's choice to lead the team.

However, the club confirmed that Rooney is the ultimate choice of new manager Van Gaal to lead the team in 2014-15. The news was confirmed after the 2-1 friendly win over Valencia on Tuesday.

Rooney expressed his delight and said it was a matter of pride and honour for him to be chosen as the captain.

"It is a huge honour for me -- and for my family -- to be named captain of this great club. It is a role I will perform with great pride. Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me," Rooney said.

"I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season."

Rooney will head United in the Premier League opener against Swansea at Old Trafford on Saturday, 16 August.

The England international was signed by Manchester United from Everton in a £27m deal. Rooney scored his 100th United goal against Wigan Athletic in the Premier League in the year 2009. In 2010, PFA named him Player of the Year. In February, he signed a new contract which will keep him at United till 2018-19.

Rooney has won five Premier League titles in his time at Manchester United and the Champions League in 2008.

Previously, notable United players like Gary Neville, Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and Roy Keane, to name a few, have had the honour of captaining the club.

On the other hand, Van Gaal also appointed Darren Fletcher as the new vice-captain of the club, who he thinks is a 'natural leader'.

"Darren Fletcher will become the vice-captain. Darren is a natural leader and will captain the team when Wayne isn't playing Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne," said Van Gaal.

Fletcher's appointment gives new hope to his career, which was in doubt due to his chronic bowel disease. The Scot had to undergo surgery from which he returned to action in December, 2013.

"It's a very proud moment for me and my family," said Fletcher. "Wayne and I have always worked well together and we will continue to work closely together in our new roles."

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