Wayne Rooney: “Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two of the greatest players ever”

Wayne Rooney: "Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two of the greatest players ever"

Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has lauded his ex-team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as two go the greatest players ever.

Ronaldo returned to Man United last summer at the age of 36 but scored 24 goals in all competitions, 18 goals in 30 Premier League appearances.

The Portugal international has struggled in the face of goal this season and has been limited to only one goal in all competitions so far and it came from the penalty spot against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League.

Cristiano Ronaldo has received loads of criticism for his poor performances while Lionel Messi has been shining with Paris Saint-German, having struggled in his first season.

Irrespective of the pair’s recent forms, Rooney, who is the current manager of USA Major League outfit D.C. United, still believes the duo are two of the greatest players to have played the game.

“Cristiano… him and [Lionel] Messi are two of the greatest players to ever play the game, but ultimately time catches up with us all,” Rooney told Reuters. “He’s obviously not the player he was when he was 22 or 23, for instance. It’s a tough one for him.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has lost his starting role under Erik ten Hag, and fell short as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial came off the bench to help Manchester United beat Omonia 3-2 in Cyprus in the Europa League.

Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United Wayne Rooney

The 37-year-old forward missed a host of chances against the Cyprus side and that has sparked ideas that Ronaldo’s age is finally taking it’s toll on him.

But Wayne Rooney has advised his former team-mate to be calm that his chances to score goals will come again.

“Knowing him [Cristiano Ronaldo], it’ll be very difficult for him to sit on the bench… I’m sure if he stays patient, his chance will come and, again, it’s then obviously him taking those chances and trying to force his way back in,” said Rooney.

Manchester United will play visitors to Everton on Sunday in the Premier League and given his recent form, the likelihood of Cristiano Ronaldo starting on the bench is massively high.