To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Wayne Rooney claims Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo era is over

Wayne Rooney claims Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo era is over

Premier League legend Wayne Rooney has claimed the dominant era of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is now over.

Former Manchester United and Everton forward Wayne Rooney has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's days of dominating world football are now over.

Rooney, 37, was a teammate of Ronaldo's at United from 2004 to 2009 and regularly faced off against Messi and his Barcelona side in the Champions League. Most notably in the 2011 final where the Spanish side were able to secure the title with a dominant 3-1 win at Wembley Stadium.

However, after seeing their talents on a first hand basis on many occasions, Rooney now believes their powers at the highest level are waning, while also claiming there is a new heir to the throne. Despite Messi only securing the World Cup with Argentina just four months ago.

Speaking in his latest column for The Times, Rooney said: “Erling Haaland is the best footballer in the world right now.

“Lionel Messi is the greatest but, at this moment, nobody is playing better than a striker who — even though I broke records in that position myself — takes my breath away with the levels he’s reaching.

“He’s the best in the world because of the numbers he’s posting, the performances he’s putting in and the mentality he shows.

Erling Haaland in action for Manchester City
Erling Haaland in action for Manchester City

“If you’re looking at who is going to win the Ballon d’Or then it has got to be him, providing he keeps up his form of this season. And why wouldn’t he? A record of 224 goals in 264 games is the mark of a player whose standards don’t drop.

“We’ve had the era of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, now this is his time, the era of Haaland and Kylian Mbappé. When there is a talent like him around you just have to enjoy it — even if he is wearing a Manchester City shirt."

Haaland and his Manchester City side were able to book their place in the FA Cup final on Saturday with a resounding 3-0 win over Championship side Sheffield United. A hat-trick sealed the game on this occasion, however it came from the feet of Algerian international Riyad Mahrez and not Haaland, who failed to add to his tally of 46 in all competitions for the season.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Erling Haaland, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United, Premier League