Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has heaped praise on Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney, describing him as a 'once in a generation' talent.
Rooney is heading back to the Red Devils after the international break having become England's all-time leading goalscorer. The 29-year-old now has 50 goals to his name after strikes against San Marino and Switzerland and has surpassed Bobby Charlton at the top of the Three Lions' all-time scorer list.
Messi, who is six goals short of Argentina's all-time goal record which is currently held by Gabriel Batistuta, says Rooney belongs in a category of players 'who are not comparable' to other top level stars.
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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," he said.
“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's goals helped England secure qualification for Euro 2016 some time ago, and he will now turn his attention back towards Manchester United, who went into the international break on the back of a defeat against Swansea.
The former Everton ace is yet to get off the mark in the Premier League this season although did score against Club Brugge in the Red Devils' Champions League qualifier.
“Rooney is a winner. He will just be focused on success with England in the European Championship," Messi continued.
“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.”
Can Rooney lead England to success at Euro 2016?
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