The mercenary Juventus might be a friend, but the former England captain believes that the Barcelona wizard is better than the others
Wayne Rooney believes Lionel Messi is a cut above Cristiano Ronaldo who is “extraordinary” because of that Barcelona superstar “will torment you before he kills you.”
They spent a total of five seasons together at Old Trafford, a spell that produced three Premier League and English titles The Champions League glory in 2007-8, an achievement that sealed Ronaldo’s first Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldo and Messi have won prizes 11 times between them, with Luka Modric the only other player to have won the award since 2007.
But ex English captain Rooney considers Messi, winner of the Ballon d’Or on six occasions, to be a step above his friends and former team-mates and the best on the planet.
That Derby County the captain wrote in his book Sunday Times column: “Ronaldo did not focus on goals when we started playing together, but you can see that what he wants is to be the best player in the world.
“He trained and practiced and started producing. Cristiano has been an outstanding goalscorer and he and Messi are arguably the two best players ever seen in a match.
“But regardless of my friendship with Cristiano, I will go for Messi. That is for the same reason I like watching Xavi and [Paul] Scholes: That is a different matter in Messi’s game.
Rooney went on to explain that he believed Messi’s natural talent gave him an edge over Cristiano, whom he chose as deadly in front of goal.
“I’ve talked about calm and I don’t remember seeing Messi’s score when he hit the ball as hard as he could. He just put them in, made it very easy,” he added.
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“Ronaldo is cruel in the box, a killer. But Messi will torture you before he kills you. With Messi you only get the impression he is having more fun.
“They both have really changed the game in terms of scoring goals and I don’t think they will ever match.”
Derby County, Rooney, sits 12th in the Championship when the league is suspended due to a coronavirus outbreak, but the Rams are still at close range from the play-off, trailing Preston with only five points with nine matches remaining.