Brazilian football legend Pele has revealed that Wayne Rooney ‘would be in my team’ if he had to pick one.
The three-time World Cup winner, generally regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play the game, also hailed the Manchester United forward for his ‘patience’ and ‘guts’.
Pele is in England for the clash between the Red Devils and Liverpool on Sunday, but also found time for some promotional work with Subway alongside Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman.
Conversation quickly moved away from a Meatball Marinara to the clash on Merseyside however, and it’s Rooney who caught the attention of the former Santos superstar.
"Rooney to me is one of the players who is excellent for the team,” said Pele, according to Sky Sports.
"He has patience, guts, and he plays nice football. If I have to select for my team, he will be in my team.”
Pele was also keen to praise the talents of compatriot Philippe Coutinho, who is currently enjoying an impressive run of form with the Reds.
The five-cap international recently forced his way back into the Brazil squad because of those displays at Anfield, and Pele went as far as to suggest he could be his nation’s next big player.
"He has talent, already we know that. We talk a lot in Brazil about him," he added.
"I think he has a good opportunity to be the next big player for the national team. I wish he has some luck because he is a player who has talent. I wish him to have the same luck I have in my life.”
In Rooney and Coutinho, the former New York Cosmos striker has highlighted two potential match-winners for Sunday’s clash.
Picking the Manchester United star ‘in his team’ is a bit of a surprise though, given the recent criticisms aimed at the England forward because of his off-field ‘boxing’ antics.
And, when looking at the world’s best strikers right now, Rooney certainly isn’t an obvious candidate when picking the top three. He wouldn’t make everyone’s team, that’s for sure, although Pele has seen something he likes.
Is Wayne Rooney one of the best strikers in the world? Would he make it into your dream team?