Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo were unplayable during their period playing together at Manchester United and notwithstanding a short fracture following the 2006 World Cup, stay old buddies off the pitch.
However regardless of his connects to the Juventus superstar, England’s record goalscorer couldn’t disregard the brightness of Messi, which he saw in two Champions League 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 Sunday Times column.
“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.
“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.”
Rooney’s comments echo the estimation of individual United legend David Beckham, who also selected six-time Ballon d’Or victor Messi.
The previous England captain faced the Argentine expert in 2013 when PSG and Barcelona played out a 1-1 drew and asserted it is “impossible” that there will be another player like Messi.
“He [Messi] is alone in his class as a player, it is impossible that there is another like him,” Beckham told Argentine outlet Telam.
“He, like Cristiano Ronaldo, who is not at his level, are both above the rest.”