After David Beckham picked his favourite between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney joined the debate and went with the Barcelona forward despite his friendship with the Portugal striker.
Messi and Ronaldo have dominated European football for over a decade now and have won 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or awards between them. Messi clinched the Golden Ball for a record sixth time in December.
Writing for a column on Sunday Times, Rooney said that although both the footballers are ‘arguably the best two players the game has seen’, he would still go for Messi, who ‘makes it look so easy.’
“Ronaldo wasn’t as focused on goals when we started playing together but you could see that all he wanted was to be the best player in the world,” Rooney wrote. “He practised and practised and began to produce. Cristiano has become an incredible scorer and he and Messi are arguably the best two players the game has seen.
“Despite my friendship with Cristiano, I’d go for Messi. It’s for the same reason I loved watching Xavi and Scholes: it’s the different things in Messi’s game. I’ve talked about composure and I can’t remember seeing Messi score when he has hit the ball as hard as he could. He just rolls them in, makes it so easy,” he further wrote.
“Ronaldo is ruthless in the box, a killer. But Messi will torture you before he kills you. With Messi you just get the impression he is having more fun. Those two have completely changed the game in terms of goalscoring numbers and I don’t think they’ll ever be matched,” he added.