Only A Game? - Wayne Rooney is not world class

Manchester United's and England's Wayne Rooney (left) and Barcelona's and Argentina's Lionel Messi.
Manchester United's and England's Wayne Rooney (left) and Barcelona's and Argentina's Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi might be one of the greatest footballers of all time but when it comes to accurately summing up fellow professionals he’s as useful as an ejection seat on a helicopter.

In an interview with the ‘Mirror’, Messi said: “Wayne Rooney is for me a once in a generation player. One of those special players, who is not comparable to any other.”

If what Messi said is to be taken literal ly then he is essentially saying Rooney cannot even be compared to himself or La Liga counterpart, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rooney is without question a talented player and his 50 goals for England are no mean feat but is he really as good as Messi suggests? I don’t think so.

At the time of writing this article, Rooney’s last goal in the English Premier League came in April - hardly the kind of statistic you would associate with a “one in a generation player”.

I honestly believe had Wayne Rooney been born in any other country except England he would not be as well thought of.

No one can argue that football clubs pay a premium for English footballers.

There’s also the fact that the English media are so powerful and so self-serving that by blowing a player’s ability out of proportion they somehow convince the wider public that said player is much better than he actually is.

I don’t rate Wayne Rooney as a world class talent. In fact I think when the annals of history are written in years to come he will not be mentioned in the same breath as players like Iniesta, Xavi, Ibrahimovic and if anyone thinks he is in same bracket as Messi, Ronaldo and even Luis Suarez they need their heads looked at.

Wayne Rooney wouldn’t even be in my top 10 forwards of all time to have played in the English Premier League - that’s how overrated I think he is.

When it comes to accurately summing up fellow professionals Lionel Messi is as useful as an ejector seat on a helicopter

Sunday Journal sports columnist - Andrew Quinn

When you compare Rooney to the likes of Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, Alan Shearer, Sergio Agüero and latterly Diego Costa, you soon realise he is not all that he has been cracked up to be.

If Rooney is as good as Messi thinks then why has he not performed at World Cup and European Championship finals? The answer is quite simple. Wayne Rooney is not the player the English media, some football fans and Lionel Messi think he is.

None of this is Wayne Rooney’s fault but he has benefited from his hype. The 29 year-old earns a reputed £15m per year so it’s difficult to feel sorry for him.

I can’t stress enough how much I regard Rooney as a talented player. All I am asking people to do is if they regard Rooney as a once in a generation player.

The fact there are much more talented and skilful players out there renders Messi’s statement utterly ridiculous. Surely if Rooney was this once in a generation player that Messi would like us to think he is then Rooney would be doing things that no other player is currently doing. But he’s not.

Manchester United fans are world class self-deceivers and anything that they feel contradicts their long held beliefs is swiftly dismissed but if the truth be told the over hyped Wayne Rooney is just much an elephant in the room as the inability of the club to recapture the consistency enjoyed Sir. Alex Ferguson.