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Wayne Rooney says he'd start Lionel Messi, bench Harry Kane and drop Cristiano Ronaldo if given choice

Jack Kenmare

| Last updated 

Wayne Rooney says he'd start Lionel Messi, bench Harry Kane and drop Cristiano Ronaldo if given choice

Wayne Rooney was asked to start, bench or drop players from a line-up of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane during a recent appearance on Indian TV – and his response has unsurprisingly gone viral.

It has been an eventful week for both Rooney and Ronaldo, who appeared to call his former teammate "a rat" during the second part of his tell-all interview with Piers Morgan.

When the subject of money and fame cropped up in conversation, Morgan asked: “More pounds in the bank or more Instagram followers?”

Ronaldo replied: “That’s a good question! Probably similar!" before the presenter responded: “I’m just trying to work out how Wayne Rooney could hate you even more!”

The United forward hit back: “Not only him, imagine the rest of the rats they are going to criticise me too, but it is good to still be the number one.”


Rooney responded to those "strange" comments made by Ronaldo when he attended the 2022 Global Soccer Awards in Dubai on Thursday, where he mentioned that "age comes us all" in regards to his current form.

"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," he said.

"And, again, it's not a criticism. What I've said is age comes to all of us, and Cristiano is obviously feeling now that he's finally had to deal with that.

"Obviously, he's done an interview, and it's gone global, and it's strange, some of the comments are strange.

"But I'm sure Manchester United will deal with it once they've seen the full interview, and they will take whatever action they need to take."

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

And on Sunday afternoon, ahead of Qatar's World Cup opener against Ecuador in Al Khor, the subject of Cristiano Ronaldo was brought up again during Rooney's appearance on Indian TV network JioCinema.

Rooney, who was joined on the punditry panel by former Arsenal pair Sol Campbell and Robert Pires, was asked who he'd start, bench and drop from a star-studded line-up.

The former United forward said: "I'd have to start Messi, bench Kane and leave Ronaldo out."

Seconds later and the presenter hit back: "Somebody isn't getting a Christmas card this year," before the no-nonsense Rooney added: "He's not playing for his club, so..."

No messing from the former England man. Earlier on in the season, Rooney was asked if Manchester United were a better team with Cristiano Ronaldo in the side.

“No, I don’t think so," he told talkSPORT. “Him and Messi are arguably the two best players of all-time and you can go either way with that, whatever way you decide.

“But I just think the things he has done from the start of the season, it is not acceptable for Manchester United. I’ve seen Roy Keane defending him. Roy wouldn’t accept that. Roy wouldn’t accept that at all.

“It is a distraction which Manchester United don’t need at the minute, trying to rebuild.

“For Cristiano, just get your head down and work and be ready to play when the manager needs you. If he does that, he will be an asset. If he doesn’t, it will become an unwanted distraction.”

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/JioCinema

Topics: Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Football World Cup, Manchester United, Portugal

Jack Kenmare
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