Wayne Rooney wants to help fire the Reds into the Champions League final by proving this United team has vastly improved and matured since losing to AC Milan in 2005.
The Reds meet Carlo Ancelotti's side two years since losing 1-0 in both legs of the Champions League last 16 against the Rossoneri.
After the match Sir Alex Ferguson intimated that the defeat would mark a watershed in the development of Rooney and several other young United players. Now the 21-year-old forward, who scored in both legs of the Reds’ quarter final triumph over Milan’s Serie A rivals AS Roma, is determined to prove his manager right.
“Since those games I’ve learnt a lot from playing with good players around me,” he told United Review. “But it also helps just playing Champions League football regularly.
“Back then it was my first year at United and I was finding my feet in a lot of ways. But now I am settled and playing much better football. I just hope I can help us do well and help the team get through.
“We’re a better team than two years ago. Then we missed too many chances, but I’m confident we’ll take our chances tonight.”
Milan are seasoned campaigners at this level, and have reached the quarter finals and beyond in each of the last five years, including their 2003 triumph at Old Trafford.
Their focus to claim a seventh European crown this season has been sharpened by the weekend confirmation that local rivals Internazionale have secured Italy’s Scudetto.
“The Champions League is probably the one trophy that they realistically have a chance of winning,” adds Rooney. “So they will be even more determined in this tournament rather than the Italian league. But we are right up for it as well, we want to win this trophy. We have to get a strong start at home and take a good result into the away leg at the San Siro.”