Wayne Rooney's seen that before! Christian Benteke bicycle kick conjures Man Utd memory


Christian Benteke stole the headlines during MLS Matchday 10 for his stunning bicycle kick golazo in D.C. United's 3-0 home win over Charlotte FC.

However, anybody familiar with the 32-year-old's impressive career – particularly his 10-year stint in the English Premier League – knows these kinds of goals are nothing new for the Belgian international.

That includes current D.C. United head coach Wayne Rooney, a former colleague and rival of Benteke who, during his own playing days, discovered just what the Belgian international is capable of on the pitch.

"Christian’s actually scored a few," Rooney said following Saturday's game when asked about the 75th-minute stunner that put over 19,000 fans at Audi Field fans on their feet.

"He scored one against me at Old Trafford against Manchester United," the Red Devils legend remembered, referring to Benteke's memorable bicycle kick for Liverpool in a 3-1 loss at the Theater of Dreams during the 2015-16 EPL season.

That brilliant piece of skill evidently stuck with Rooney, who made sure to sign Benteke from Crystal Palace shortly after taking the reins at United in July 2022. And with five goals across 10 games in 2023, the veteran striker is proving to be a wise investment by the club.

But Rooney – who scored arguably the most famous bicycle kick in EPL history in a 2011 Manchester derby – was also intent on highlighting the performances of other squad members who were just as vital in helping D.C. win their third straight match.

"I thought Victor Pálsson and Donovan Pines were outstanding throughout the game," Rooney stated.

Even with a high-profile name like Benteke – and fellow Premier League alums Mateusz Klich (transfer from Leeds United) and Lewis O'Brien (loan from Nottingham Forest) – on the roster, D.C. United have largely gone under the radar this season after finishing bottom of the league table in 2022. But 10 matchdays into the current campaign, the Black-and-Red are firmly in an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs position, sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference standings with a 4W-4L-2D record.

"I think there's an excitement growing," Rooney said about the positive vibes surrounding the club and their fanbase.

"... It's on us to make sure we keep that going."