Wayne Rooney has given his verdict on the Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi debate, and has picked the latter over his former Manchester United teammate as the better player.
Rooney played alongside Ronaldo for five seasons at Old Trafford and the duo formed a fine partnership during the Portuguese’s spell in English football, winning a host of major honours including three Premier League titles and the Champions League.
Despite his allegiances to the now Juventus forward, however, Rooney believes Messi has been the best player in world football after memorably witnessing the Argentine’s brilliant best during two Champions League final defeats to Barcelona.
“Ronaldo wasn’t as focused on goals when we started playing together but you could see that all he wanted was to be the best player in the world,” Rooney wrote in his column the Times.
“He practised and practised and began to produce. Cristiano has become an incredible scorer and he and Messi are arguably the best two players the game has seen.
“But despite my friendship with Cristiano, I’d go for Messi. It’s for the same reason I loved watching Xavi and Scholes: it’s the different things in Messi’s game. I’ve talked about composure and I can’t remember seeing Messi score when he has hit the ball as hard as he could. He just rolls them in, makes it so easy.
“Ronaldo is ruthless in the box, a killer. But Messi will torture you before he kills you. With Messi you just get the impression he is having more fun. Those two have completely changed the game in terms of goalscoring numbers and I don’t think they’ll ever be matched.”