This simplistic question has divided opinion between respected footballing personalities, and your average man alike, and it has systematically ripped through the footballing world.
Is the world a globe, can you see the light of the sun during the day, will we all eventually die? These rhetorical questions constitute only one answer - yes! Unless, however, you believe that the world is flat, that light is nothing but an illusion, and that humanity will make untold technological advancements in the provision of the human body.
When presented with this question myself, I thought that I was being asked a rhetorical question... Wayne Rooney is an animal, a ferocious wild beast, a powerful raw, yet delicate technician - a phenomenon that has never been perceived before, and perhaps never will again.
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To ignorantly dismiss him as being anything other than 'world class' is preposterous and unthinkable. The ideology is an embarrassing conjecture for a fellow professional to propose, giving that they know first hand what being a footballer entails.
The average man on the street that doesn't consider him to be world class, either has a distinct lack of footballing knowledge, or they are biased because of their own affiliation towards a rival club. Saying that you don't rate Wayne Rooney because you don't like Manchester United, is like saying that you don't like your favourite food because it was cooked in a restaurant that you don't particularly favour.
If Scholes was world-class, so is Rooney
It is widely accepted that Wayne Rooney's ex-Manchester United teammate Paul Scholes is 'world class', without hesitation - I couldn't agree more - he is!
Scholes was even one of the four players whom Sir Alex Ferguson named in his new book as being a genuine world class commodity, along with Giggs, Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo, with the ruthless deletion of Wayne Rooney, himself.
However, retrospectively going back to the 'great man's' previous book, he makes a similar dismissive claim about how he didn't consider Stephan Gerrard to be 'world class' either, which is an entirely alternative argument that would warrant identical confusion.
Similar to my views on Rooney, I think that it is incomprehensible to even hypothesise the condemnation of Scholes, and nobody ever really does, but consider this: we all know the capabilities that Wayne has in an attacking role, or in a central striking position.
He is a clinical finisher. He can finish in anger. He can finish in composure. He can finish instinctively, naturally and intuitively. He can finish under pressure. He can finish with his left foot, right foot; he can even finish competently with his head (Something that not all the 'word class' forwards can do). He can score tap-ins from the six-yard box, and he can score superlative 'top bin screamers' from outside of the box, as easily as if he was taking the dog out for a walk.
We have witnessed him lob the goal keeper from the halfway line, something that hadn't been replicated since the days of David Beckham, unless you want to count Xavi Alonso's goal against Newcastle, but I personally don't because the ball bounced before the line. The overhead kick that Wayne scored against Manchester city is too good for words to even begin to describe.
If you extrapolated Paul Scholes out of his common central midfield role and put him in Rooney's notable position as a striker, would he be as effective as Wayne Rooney? I think not. However, if you extracted Wayne Rooney from his usual attacking position, and played him in centre midfield, would he be as effective as Paul Scholes? I think yes!
No doubt about it: Rooney is world-class
Along with Rooney's attacking qualities, it is evident that he has similar technical abilities to Paul Scholes. He can play a cross-field pass with desirable precision. He can dictate and control the play, like Scholes could, and he can also create goal scoring opportunities for his team mates, sometimes at will. People said that Paul Scholes couldn't tackle: Rooney can. People say that Scholes didn't win headers: Rooney can.
If you played Scholes at right-wing would he be as good as Wayne Rooney in that position? If you played Scholes at right back, would he be as good as the designated right back in the team? I think that Rooney would be just as good, if not better. This is the beauty about him, you can put him anywhere, and he would still be 'world class', and this has often been overlooked when considering his credentials.
Two seasons ago, when Liverpool came tantalisingly close to winning the league title, if they had Wayne Rooney playing at right back, instead of Glen Johnson, I believe they would have won the league.
If they'd of had Wayne Rooney playing in central midfield alongside Stephan Gerrard and Jordan Henderson, instead of Lucas Leiva or Joe Allen, I believe Liverpool would have won the league.
Liverpool fans "dream of a team of Carraghers", I, as a devote Liverpool fan, dream of a team of Wayne Rooneys.