Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has picked Lionel Messi over former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo as the “greatest ever” player. He admitted that the duo are the greatest ever to play the game but picked the Argentine over the Portuguese.
He said (via GiveMeSport):
“Messi. 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.”
It is a surprising pick, given that Rooney had a brilliant partnership on the pitch with Ronaldo during their time together at Manchester United. They won three Premier League titles and one Champions League title, among other trophies.
Messi is a joke. For me the best ever.
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) March 7, 2012
The Portuguese has contributed 698 goals and 230 assists in club football in 933 matches for Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. He also recently became the highest ever goal scorer in football with 815 goals for club and country.
Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times along with five Champions League titles, two La Liga titles and two Serie A titles, among other honors.
Messi, meanwhile, has scored 683 goals and provided 318 assists in 812 matches for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. He’s won La Liga an incredible 10 times and the Champions League four times. He’s also won a record seven Ballon d’Ors.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi likely to feature in their last ever FIFA World Cup this year
The legendary duo have dominated world football for more than a decade now. They’ve won 12 Ballon d’Ors in the last 13 years and have a rivalry unlike any other.
Ronaldo & Messi are heading to their 𝙁𝙄𝙁𝙏𝙃 World Cup 🖐 pic.twitter.com/G9QJ1cAMrs
— 433 (@433) March 29, 2022
However, with Ronaldo now 37 and the Argentine now at 34, the end of their era seems to be closer than ever. The FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year could be the last one for both players.
Neither has won the World Cup yet and will certainly want to tick that off on their already illustrious achievements list. Both have won their respective continental competitions though, with Portugal winning the 2016 Euros and Argentina winning the 2021 Copa America.
Both countries have built a good squad to challenge for the World Cup trophy. It could perhaps be a fairytale end for one of the two.
Nonetheless, it is likely to be the end of an era with the legendary duo potentially playing their last World Cup.