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17th Jul 2018

Wayne Rooney tips Lionel Messi as the greatest player ever over Cristiano Ronaldo

Rooney played with Ronaldo for five years at United

Reuben Pinder

This probably won’t go down well with Ronaldo…

It’s the age old debate that will outlive their careers: Messi vs Ronaldo. Much like Pele and Maradona, the pair have been constantly compared for years.

Whatever your preference – and we all have one – it can be universally agreed that football fans have been blessed to live during an era when both players are at the peak of their powers.

Wayne Rooney, who played with Ronaldo for five years at Manchester United, has recently given his take on the debate as to who is the greatest of all time.

It may come as a surprise that the former England an United captain has admitted he prefers Messi, despite his bond with Ronaldo.

The DC United forward appeared on the ‘Pardon My Take’ podcast  recently, and when asked which player he preferred, he instantly replied with “Messi”.

“They’re both probably the best two players to ever play the game,” he added.

“I just think Messi is, in my eyes, the greatest ever.”

The hosts of the podcast then reassured him that “we’re Messi guys” – such is the obligation to pick a side – “so you’re in good company here.”

Rooney was then asked for his take on the Michael Jordan vs LeBron James debate and responded honestly, saying “I have no idea.” Not an NBA fan, it appears.

Both Ronaldo and Messi were knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16, to Uruguay and France respectively. It was probably Messi’s last ever chance to win the World Cup, given that he will be 35 before the next one, in Qatar, comes around. Meanwhile Ronaldo has one international trophy to his name after Portugal won the European Championships in 2016.

Ronaldo has one more Champions League trophy than Messi, with five compared to the Argentine’s four. But you could argue that comparing trophy counts is futile in a debate to decide which individual is better.