Wayne Rooney has overlooked former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo when identifying the world’s best player, with the England international believing Lionel Messi is tops when it comes to the greatest in the game.

Messi and Ronaldo went head-to-head once again last weekend in a breathtaking El Clasico encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu, during which the former scored a hat-trick to lead Barcelona to a 4-3 triumph. It was a classic Messi performance of skill and poise, and Rooney says he enjoys watching the Argentine like no other player.

Asked by bwin which player he takes the most pleasure from watching, Rooney responded: “Lionel Messi. I think he’s the best, he’s incredible.”

Rooney could have been forgiven for allowing his friendship with Ronaldo to cloud his judgement when making his choice, but the Manchester United striker was not willing to let sentiment get in the way of going for Messi.

Ronaldo and Rooney spent five years as Manchester United colleagues before the Portuguese left Old Trafford for Real Madrid, with the duo winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League during their time together.

And, while Rooney may have never featured on the same side as Messi, he has seen first hand the devastating impact the Argentine can have, with the Barcelona forward having twice scored against Manchester United in the final of the Champions League, both in 2009 and 2011.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms