London, April 20 (IANS) Former England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has weighed into the age-old debate as to which player is better between Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentinian maestro Lionel Messi.
In the last decade or so, the two footballers have broken all scoring records en route adding multiple team and personal titles to their respective illustrious trophy cabinets.
Such has been their effect on world football that Messi has won the coveted Ballon d’Or a record six times while Ronaldo has won it five times.
Rooney, who shared the dressing room with Ronaldo at Old Trafford, is the latest to jump into the debate but he surprisingly didn’t pick his former teammate over the Barcelona talisman.
“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 column for The Sunday Times.
“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 my friendship with Cristiano, I’d go for Messi. 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,” he added.
“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.”