Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney rates Lionel Messi higher than former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, and says the Barcelona star is the best player in the history of the game.

The Messi v Ronaldo debate is one that is unlikely to ever be unanimously settled, with both player staking claims to be considered among the finest players ever seen.

Rooney, though, is firmly in the Messi camp and revealed his thoughts on the 25-year-old in a Q&A on his official Facebook page.

"I just think the way he plays the game and the goals he scores - he just looks spectacular," Rooney said when asked why Messi is better than Ronaldo.

"In my eyes anyway, Messi is the best ever."

Messi scored a 73 goals for Barcelona last season during a quite breathtaking campaign for the Catalan giants, with his remarkable tally the best return ever by a player in European football.

The Argentina international also became Barca's highest ever scorer, and his record with the club now stands at 259 goals in 333 appearances during eight years at the Nou Camp.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, has scored 150 goals in 149 games for Real Madrid, since leaving Manchester United for the Bernabeu in 2009 for a record £80 million.

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Wayne Rooney