Rooney has played against a number of great footballers.

Wayne Rooney names football's 'best ever player'

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The debate surrounding football's greatest ever player will never cease for as long as the game exists.

Some say it's Lionel Messi; others believe it's Cristiano Ronaldo, whilst the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane and Alfredo Di Stefano continue to be uttered in the same breath as their successors.

Ultimately, it's all a matter of opinion because there's no set formula to dictate who should be crowned as football's greatest.


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But for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, only one man is deserving of the title.

In a Q&A on his official website, the England international was asked to name the toughest opponent he has ever faced and of the four names he mentioned, one stood out - and it wasn't former teammate Ronaldo.

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He said: "There's been so many over the years but I’ll try and pick one for each position.

"The best goalkeeper I’ve come up against is Iker Casillas, he’s won everything you can in the game and is one of the best goalkeepers of all-time.

"The best defender is probably John Terry, he reads the game well, he is physical and very tough to play against.

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League

"For midfield I’d say Xavi, he’s got everything, brilliant passing, vision, creativity and leadership.

"The best striker has to be Lionel Messi, in my opinion he’s the best player ever and I’m honoured to have shared a pitch with him."

It's hard to argue with Rooney, of course, but it comes as quite a shock that he chose Messi over Ronaldo, who he played alongside for five years at Old Trafford.

However, 453 goals, eight La Liga titles and four Champions League triumphs for Barcelona says it all about Messi's credentials as football's best ever player.

International Champions Cup 2016 - Celtic v Barcelona

Rooney's verdict is certainly a popular one, especially so after none other than Pope Francis made the same claim.

The 79-year-old was recently asked who he thought was better out of Messi, Maradona and Pele, to which he replied: "For me, Messi."

His Holiness has spoken.

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi

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