Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney has picked Argentina as his favourites to win the World Cup in Qatar and has named Lionel Messi as the best player of all time.
As the tournament in Qatar is due to get underway this weekend, England’s all-time top goal scorer has made his prediction.
He said: “For me, Argentina are the favourites. Unlike in 2018, they have plenty of good, solid players around Lionel Messi such as Lautaro Martínez, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul and of course Angel Di Maria.
“Winning the Copa America last year will have given them confidence and has taken a bit of pressure off them. The climate will suit them too. The only thing they are missing is a No 9, that focal point in attack, but I think they will be really dangerous.”
The former United captain was then quizzed on whether winning the World Cup will make Messi the greatest player of all time. Rooney said: “Everyone has different views on Messi and Ronaldo but I have said many times that I think Messi is the best.
“I have watched lots of videos of Diego Maradona, who was a similar player, but Messi is better. He has everything — the way he controls games, his dribbling, his assists — whereas Ronaldo is more of a goalscorer.”
The former Derby manager added: “It would be a great story for football if either Messi or Ronaldo won the World Cup. I have heard some of the Argentine players saying that they want to win it for Messi. That’s crazy — and might only increase the pressure on them.”
Rooney was in Cristiano Ronaldo’s firing line this week after the Portugal captain criticised his former teammate during an interview with Piers Morgan.
Rooney has since responded, telling CNN: “Well, listen, Cristiano Ronaldo's a fantastic player and, as I've said before, he and Messi are the two best players probably to play the game.
“And, again, it's not a criticism. What I've said is age comes to all of us, and Cristiano is obviously is feeling that and he's finding it hard to deal with that.
“Obviously he's done an interview that's gone global. Bit strange, some of the comments are strange in there but I'm sure Manchester United will deal with it once they've seen the full interview and they'll take whatever action they need to take.”
Featured Image Credit: CNN/Alamy
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