And he says Manchester United are drawing encouragement from the achievements of Liverpool and Chelsea by winning Europe’s top club competition despite inconsistent domestic form.
Both Liverpool and Chelsea finished outside of the Premier League’s top four when they won the Champions League in 2005 and 2012 respectively – and with an 11-point gap to make up on fourth-placed Liverpool, United look as if they too will need to win it to qualify again next season.
Rooney knows the pressure is on to start repaying his new £300,000-a-week contract by guiding United past Olympiakos – the weakest team left in the competition – in the first leg of the last 16 round here tonight.
But he is already eyeing a fourth final appearance – with defeats by Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 following United’s victory over Chelsea in the 2008 final.
I want to be remembered as a winner
He said: “To win one is never enough, especially at this club. The feeling you get as a player when you win those finals is incredible – there’s no way you’d want to stop at one.
“I want to be remembered as a winner. I grew up all my life wanting to win trophies. That’s my main aim. At Manchester United that’s what we aim to do is win trophies. That’s what you’ll be judged on when you’ve finished your career.
“You want to win [the Champions League] every year which is impossible but if we can go to the final it would be great for us. We have certainly got the quality in the team to go really far.
“The year Chelsea won, they nearly went out of the competition three times so you have to keep going whether we get the right result or not. We are looking to get a victory to take home with us and then try and progress into then quarter-finals. That’s our main aim.
“As a group of players we have to take responsibility for the league position we are in. We know we are better than that. We haven’t performed as well as we can do. We know that and it hurts when as a team you know you can do better. We haven’t and it’s important we finish the season strong and take the momentum into next year.
“But it’s most important that we finish the season strong, get that fourth spot and progress far into the Champions League. That’s important to us all.”
With Rooney and strike partner Robin van Persie both fit again, United have finally found some form in time for the re-start of the Champions League.
He added: “We’ve both had injuries at the same time this season but hopefully we can stay fit now. Robin is a fantastic player – one of the best goal scorers in world football. When we are both playing we will score goals. I think it’s important we play well and that will bring other players around to play well as well.
“I think of late our performances have been good. Even in the draw with Fulham we performed well but were unfortunate. We played really well at Arsenal and got a good win at Crystal Palace.
“We can obviously improve but in the Champions League we’ve been excellent this season and hopefully we can take that form into the Olympiakos game and get the right result.”