Wayne Rooney had no hesitation in proclaiming Lionel Messi better than former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
The new D.C. United striker played with Ronaldo, now of Juventus , at Manchester United, forming a superb partnership with the Portugal international.
Rooney and Ronaldo were on the same side between 2004 and 2009, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League, the FA Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup together.
However, the former England captain, who famously played against Ronaldo at the Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, has now lauded Messi, insisting he is the best player in history.
Appearing on the ‘Pardon My Take’ podcast , Rooney was asked which player he preferred, and instantly replied with “Messi”.
Asked why he selected the Argentina talisman, he added: “Yeah, I think I’ve said this before, but they’re both probably the best two players to ever play the game.
“I just think Messi is, in my eyes, the greatest ever.”
Both players struggled to consistently replicate their brilliant club form at the World Cup. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in his opening game against Spain and then the winner against Morocco, but his influence waned as Portugal were eliminated by Uruguay in the last 16, while Argentina only just escaped their group, and were subsequently downed by eventual champions France .
They are unlikely to lock horns this season, unless Juventus draw Barcelona in the Champions League. Indeed, Ronaldo’s move to Italy marks the first time in just over a decade that the pair will not be in the same division, and the club’s sporting director has admitted that the stunning move came from a “crazy idea” formed after his brilliant overhead kick at Allianz Stadium in 2017-18 .
“The crazy idea started after the crazy goal he scored against us,” Fabio Paratici told Sky Italia.
“(Ronaldo’s agent) Jorge Mendes told us that Cristiano was stunned by the attention he received, he said that one day he would like to come to Juventus.”