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Manchester United and England's all-time leading goalscorer has officially retired after being appointed permanent manager of Derby County until 2023 after an interim stint.
Despite his achievements in the game, there is always the feeling that Rooney wasn't quite appreciated as much as he ought to have been.
But praise from Messi and Ronaldo, with eleven Ballon d'Or wins between them, speaks volumes of just how good Rooney was.
Messi, who enjoyed two Champions League final victories over Rooney and United, said he was one of the best he ever played against.
"Over the years we have faced many British teams in Europe and come up against many good players, but I have always had a big respect for Wayne Rooney," Messi said in an interview with Coach Magazine.
"He has played at the highest level for many years and is one of the special players of the generation."
Ronaldo, meanwhile, won three Premier League titles in a row playing alongside the former Everton man and used to call him 'pitbull' because of the tenacity and aggression he brought to the table.
"For me the power of Wayne Rooney is his mentality and strength," Ronaldo said in a 2015 interview as part of a documentary on Rooney.
"He never stops, he always runs, helps the team. He's a fantastic team player and he scores goals. He scored important goals, for me he's fantastic. He was the kid of England. Everyone loved him. He is a fantastic boy, fantastic player.
"I used to call him, between me and my mates, the pit bull. I remember when he lost the ball he was so powerful, a strong guy, he shoots unbelievable."
Ronaldo also said "I miss playing with him" and added maybe they would play together again one day.
Rooney's retirement means it won't happen in a competitive capacity, we look forward to them linking up again in a testimonial or charity fixture in the near future.
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