Wayne Rooney has joined the debate over who the best soccer player in the world is.
Manchester United’s club captain has revealed that he believes Cristiano Ronaldo is now the best player in the world and that he has overtaken Lionel Messi for the honor. Rooney made these comments while talking to MUTV after he was asked whether the Portuguese forward would go on to win the Ballon d’Or for a third year in a row.
“I think so. He’s had an incredible two or three years, and I think he has certainly overtaken Lionel Messi now as the best player in the world. I’m sure it’ll be difficult to give it to anyone else.”
It’s not really that surprising that Wayne Rooney picked Cristiano Ronaldo in this battle, though. The duo had several really successful seasons at Manchester United together. During this period they won three Premier League titles, one European Cup and a handful of domestic honors too. This was until Cristiano Ronaldo left to join Real Madrid for around $120 million.
They did, of course, have their differences on the international stage, though. The pair clashed at the 2006 World Cup after Wayne Rooney was accused of stamping on Ricardo Carvalho. Cristiano Ronaldo then heavily protested his offense and the referee went on to show Wayne Rooney a red card.
At the moment, Cristiano Ronaldo is currently in a rich vein of form. He has, so far, scored 17 goals in just nine league games this season while he also helped to lead Real Madrid to their 10th European Cup last year too.
But the iconic player doesn’t want to stop there, though. According to the BBC, earlier this week the two-time winner of the Ballon d’Or declared after picking up the Golden Shoe for a third year that he wants to be regarded as the best player to have ever played the game.
“Being the best in Portugal isn’t enough for me, I’m going to be the best ever. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, just to myself. I want to continue working in the same way because it’s harder and harder to improve my figures. I want to be the best at the best club in the world.”
Over the weekend, Russia manager Fabio Capello disagreed with Wayne Rooney’s assessment by insisting that Lionel Messi is more skilful than Ronaldo.
“Cristiano is a powerful player, with very good technique, but he does not possess the pure technical skill of Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are two extraordinary players but they are different. Leo Messi is a very difficult player to play against. When I saw Messi play I knew he was special. I could see that he could do things that didn’t occur to other players.”
[Image via Clarin]