Wayne Rooney has opened up on his favourite players to watch while also discussing why he’d choose Lionel Messi over former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rooney and Ronaldo spearheaded Man United’s attack for six seasons before the Portuguese star moved to Real Madrid for a then-world record fee of £80m.
Writing in his Sunday Times column, the United and England legend discussed how Ronaldo wasn’t focused on goals when he first arrived in Manchester.
However, Rooney feels Ronaldo’s endless need to practice his craft has put him into a position alongside Lionel Messi as the greatest players the game has ever seen.
“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. 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.”
Despite their friendship, however, Rooney admitted that he would still pick Messi outlining the differences between the two superstars.
Rooney also namechecked Paul Scholes and Xavi as two other players he loves to watch.
“But despite my friendship with Cristiano, I’d go for Messi,” Rooney said.
“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.”
Elsewhere, Rooney surprised readers of his weekly column by coming clean on his favourite ever goal.
A record goal-scorer for both Man United and England, Rooney admits to pointing to his overhead kick against United’s arch-rivals Man City as his favourite goal.
However, the centre forward admitted that his favourite goal actually came against Wigan outlining why exactly a goal that nobody remembers is his favourite of all time.
“When asked my favourite goal, I always say the overhead kick versus City — but we’re talking, here, about the craft of goalscoring, how it’s about teamwork, movement, control and timing and a goal that probably few people remember sticks out for me.
“It came versus Wigan, when Rafael crossed from the right and my timing was literally perfect: I got across the centre back, got a nick on the ball and the ’keeper had no chance.”
You can watch Wayne Rooney’s best goals for Manchester United below.