Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney believes Cristiano Ronaldo has now usurped Lionel Messi as the best player in the world.
Ronaldo is the current Ballon d'Or holder, having scooped the prize ahead of Messi at the start of the year. The Barcelona has won the prize four times to Ronaldo's two however.
The Real Madrid ace is currently setting La Liga alight, and has scored an incredible 19 goals in just nine games so far this term leaving Messi, who has seven in ten, trailing in his wake.
Although Ronaldo appears to have the upper hand at club level as things stand having also helped Real Madrid to Champions League glory and breaking the record for most goals in a single campaign in the process, it is Messi who has enjoyed the most success on the international stage.
The Argentinian helped his country reach the World Cup final in Brazil over the summer where they narrowly lost out to Germany, while Portugal fell at the group stages. Messi was also named the best player in the tournament.
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Despite that, Rooney has waded into the debate and named his former Manchester United team-mate as the best in the world ahead of Messi. When asked if he believed Ronaldo would retain the Ballon d'Or this year, he replied: “I think so. He’s had an incredible two or three years and I think he has certainly overtaken Lionel Messi now as the best player in the world. I’m sure it’ll be difficult to give it to anyone else.”
Ronaldo and Messi have both been named on the 23-man shortlist for the prestigious prize, which will be handed out in the new year. Manchester United man Angel di Maria was also included on the list, however Rooney was left out as no English player made the cut.
The striker will be focused on more pressing matters this weekend when Manchester United take on Crystal Palace. They are without a win in their last three games in the Premier League, and they currently sit 10th after 10 games.