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Actor and die-hard Manchester United fan Christopher Eccleston says Wayne Rooney is primed for a big performance in Saturday's Champions League final - if his interview with the Manchester United striker is anything to go by.
The former Doctor Who and star of films including '28 Days Later', 'Gone in 60 Seconds' and 'Shallow Grave' met Rooney as part of a piece filmed exclusively for ITV ahead of Saturday's big match at Wembley. And Eccleston says that judging by Rooney's mood he could be United's matchwinner.
"He walked in looking supremely relaxed, confident about Saturday, radiating health," Eccleston told ITV.com "It was a really good sign - I think he's primed for a big game."
Having never met the England man before, and despite admitting that Paul Scholes ("the most complete player I've ever seen") is his favourite United star, Eccleston admitted he was blown away by the experience.
"It was one of the best days of my life," he said. "I meet actors all the time and they don't turn my head. But to meet a professional footballer of Wayne's calibre - it was one of the best experiences I've ever had."
Eccleston said he was particularly impressed by Rooney's composure under the media spotlight.
"Wayne does this a lot, he's an old hand at being interviewed. Twenty or thirty years ago footballers had no need to deal with the press, but these days they're constantly under the glare of the media.
"For him to handle questions with such ease was very impressive."
'A good feeling'
The 47-year-old actor was born into a Manchester United-supporting family in Salford, a mile from Old Trafford, and watched his first match just as Sir Matt Busby's great side began their slow decline.
He was barely a toddler when United last won the European Cup at Wembley, in 1968, sleeping through the game while his mother listened to the game on the radio. Over four decades on, Eccleston will be attendance for United's return to Wembley - and though he's unlikely to sleep this time, he says he will try to avoid pre-match nerves.
"The most nervous I ever got was in 1976 against Southampton [in the FA Cup Final], which we lost," he said. "I burst into tears and it made my dad cry. I got nervous and it broke my heart so I try not to get too worked up. I've actually got a good feeling - I'm very excited, it's going to be a great game."
Not that Eccleston isn't averse to a bit of emotion. Asked to predict the outcome of Saturday's final, he faultered. "What I would love is for Scholes to come on in the last 20 minutes and score the winner," he concluded.