“He’s still one of the best players in the world.”
Wayne Rooney has cited Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance against the Republic of Ireland last week as examples of how Manchester United can challenge for the Premier League title this year.
Rooney, a Man United teammate of Ronaldo’s for five years, has been speaking about the impact the Portuguese forward can make on the league this season after his return to Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney on Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals v Ireland.
The current Derby County manager was watching on as Ronaldo broke Irish hearts last week, coming up with two late headers to overturn a 1-0 deficit in a World Cup qualifier in Faro.
Speaking to the media today, Rooney said that this shows how the 36-year-old can help Man United take another step towards a first Premier League title since 2013.
“An enormous one,” Rooney answered when asked what kind of impact Ronaldo can have in the Premier League this season.
“He’s still one of the best players in the world. I think we saw in the game against Ireland, in the last couple of minutes he scores two great headers. He can have a massive impact on the league.
🗣"He’s still one of the best players in the world and can have an impact on the rest of this league. United can, and need to challenge for the title.”
Wayne Rooney feels confident Cristiano Ronaldo can help Manchester United win the Premier League pic.twitter.com/wyKoBJFyNW
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 8, 2021
Wayne Rooney: Cristiano Ronaldo can help Man United challenge.
“I think United are finally ready to go and challenge for the title,” Rooney continued.
“I feel they have to this year. He’s going to be a big player, he’ll have very big moments in the season and I’m sure he’s score a lot of goals.”
Rooney joined Man United as an 18-years-old in 2004, a year after Ronaldo arrived from Sporting Lisbon.
They grew into a formidable attacking partnership, helping to fire Alex Ferguson’s side to three consecutive Premier League titles between 2007 and 2009, as well as the 2008 Champions League.
Ronaldo: “Wayne Rooney is the kid of England.”
Towards the latter part of his Man United career, it’s fair to say that Ronaldo eclipsed Rooney in terms of the sheer devastation he inflicted on opposing teams and this was demonstrated when he was awarded the first of his five Ballon d’Or in 2008.
Ronaldo has previously spoken glowingly of Rooney, saying in a 2015 documentary on his ex-teammate that “he never stops, he always runs, helps the team. He’s a fantastic team player and he scores goals. He scored important goals, for me he’s fantastic.
“He was the kid of England. Everyone loved him. He is a fantastic boy, fantastic player.”
The ex-Real Madrid man has been training with his new teammates in recent days ahead of a possible second Man United debut at home to Newcastle United this Saturday.