Football

Lionel Messi's kind words enough to prove Wayne Rooney is a great

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A lot has been debated throughout the last week or so about Wayne Rooney's worth in gold to English football and whether he's a top player.

The Manchester United man, who since the international break has missed games against Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven, broke the all-time England goalscoring record against Switzerland last week, writing his name into English folklore.

And yet despite this remarkable achievement, there are still whispers that Rooney isn't the player that many make him out to be, let alone deserving of the England legend tag that he is now associated with.

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For one player, though, there appears little doubt as to just how special a player Rooney is - none other than Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

The Argentine was one of many to express his appreciation for the 29-year-old, and according to the Daily Mirror said:

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"Wayne Rooney is for me a once in a generation player. One of those special players, who is not comparable to any other.

“There are many special players, but Rooney has exceptional quality and technical ability as well as being one of the strongest players I have faced with an exceptional work rate - there is nobody like him.”

“Rooney is a winner. He will just be focused on success with England in the European Championship.

“I have always said the same is true of myself and Argentina — breaking caps and goals records mean nothing unless they come with trophies. Like I say, Wayne is a winner. It will always be the team first and personal records second.”

So, there we have it. It still won't budge some people from their opinion of Rooney as an average player, though, and one suspects that those aggrieved by the striker's reputation as a great player will continue to argue that the tag is unjustified.

And it is because of this that they cannot stand the fact that he has gone down in the record books, taking the place of other great names like Bobby Charlton for overtaking his 49 England goals, and possibly Charlton's goal haul for United.

The villain of the piece will also overtake Peter Shilton's appearance record for his country if he can gain another 18 caps - 19 to surpass the legendary England goalkeeper.

If ever there was a player who knows what it takes to be a great player, though, it's Messi. Hearing these glowing words of approval from a master such as the Argentine, and then hearing words of condemnation from armchair fans is like a renowned scientist being commended by Stephen Hawking and then being torn to shreds by a ten-year-old who has just commenced his first experiment with a bunsen burner. 

Messi will not be the only one to speak highly of Rooney - the other master, Cristiano Ronaldo will no doubt have some fine words to utter in favour of his old team-mate - but their endorsements will still not be enough for some people.

And maybe Rooney doesn't care, but if he does, a blinding report from one of - if not the - world's greatest of all time should help him sleep at night. 

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney
Football

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