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Stop Comparing Rooney To Messi, Please

Stop Comparing Rooney To Messi, Please

It is one of those exhausting subjects which inevitably come up when the talk is about football these days: who is the best player in the world? Is Rooney as good as Messi, which one is better?

These comparisons are soooo tedious, for a number of reasons. First, both are brilliant footballers. Second, they are completely different kind of players, with different upbringing, different styles, different strengths. It's very difficult to compare them.

But the most important reason why it's foolish to keep comparing them is that while I love Rooney and he's world-class, a truly wonderful footballer, he's not Messi. Nobody is on a par with Messi right now, NOBODY.

Cristiano Ronaldo outperformed him in 06/07 and 07/08 because Messi was injured a lot and played in an inferior team (oh yes, that Barcelona side was inferior to United, not in terms of player quality but because of the lack of unity, because of their staleness). Ronaldo is a bloody brilliant player, an unbelievable, incredible goal machine but he's not Leo Messi.

Quite simply, nobody in world football has the natural talent of Leo Messi. Nobody. Yesterday he destroyed Real Zaragoza on his own, scoring 8 goals in three games, two consecutive hat-tricks in the league and not tap-ins or opportunistic finishes, the hallmarks of a quality centre-forward, no: he just dumps defenders on their backsides regularly with his astonishing dribbling, pace, close control and outworldly balance. He can shoot, he's got magnificent composure in one-on-ones, he's got everything.

Yes, he's a better footballer than Wayne Rooney. There's no shame in that for Wayne. You can be massively inferior to Lionel Messi and still be a world-class player. Because, I'll say it again, nobody can match his natural talent. Nobody. Ronaldo achieved a lot through his own outrageous talent and even more sheer hard work but he's still not Messi.

Comparing Messi to Maradona is unjustified, too: he's a much more likeable professional who already achieved more in the club game than Maradona. Yes, he can be stopped, sometimes. But how? Chelsea demonstrated it: doubling and tripling up on him, hoping that he has an off-day and also praying that his teammates won't punish you for focusing on Messi. It's no coincidence that even against 10 men, Chelsea could not get out of their own half in last season's CL semi: they did not dare to go forward.

Obviously I do not want to belittle Rooney or Ronaldo, it's just that Messi is on a different level to everyone else. At least that's my opinion.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday March 22 2010
Time: 12:43PM


Good win for you boys at the weekend ...good on ya and i gotta agree with Zae Messi is in a league of his own hes just incredible not that Rooney isnt Rooney has been amazing this season as has Ronaldo at madrid the 3 of them were compared on ssn today and although Ronaldo has been injured alot his strike rate is the best followed by messi and then Rooney although id have to say we are in a much more competative league IMO. Please win the league :)
only 1 spurs
22/03/2010 13:43:00
As a player, the competitiveness of the league does make a difference but I guess anyone who has watched the game for a while has to agree that Messi is probably the most natural, fluid footballer we have seen in years!
22/03/2010 13:55:00
Idiotic article - Rooney is better than Messi. Rooney not only is a one man United team and produces for club and country unlike Messi who has not performed on the international arena for years. Rooney is carrying United, Messi is a top quality player playing in a great team with great players and in a league which has many more easier games than the prem. People who do not fully understand football just look at dribbling and Messi is the best dribbler in the world but Rooney has more attributes.
22/03/2010 13:59:00
At points this season Rooney has been the best footballer in the world based on FORM. On ability he is clearly no match for Messi. Messi would probably struggle in the premier league due to the physicality, but you onlly have to look at what he can do with a ball to see there is no one better than him. To say Rooney is carrying united and messiis only doing well because he is in a great team is not only ridiculous its actually a complete reversal of the facts. You only need to look at the type of goals they have scored this season to see that you could stick messi in a pub team, give him the ball and he'd produce those individual moments of brilliance. Wayne has played well this season (even though he has been wasteful in front of goal at times) but he could not have reached that tally without the assists/crosses from his team mates.
22/03/2010 14:21:00
manc100: I'd be happy to agree but you're wrong, unfortunately. Just watch Messi's goals against Valencia, Stuttgart, Zaragoza: he scored 8 and he created at least 6 of them. And it was scary skill with which he burst into the box to win the penalty for their fourth goal yesterday. Messi has been playing as a one-man team for a while now as his teammates are not nearly in the same form as a year ago. Yesterday I got the feeling that the rest of the team just give him the ball and carry on sipping their coffees and watching him gliding past defenders and scoring ridiculous goals. Watch his first against Stuttgart: he was closed down by FOUR players and he still unleashed a stunning shot...
22/03/2010 14:25:00
Yes Messi has the potential of destroying teams single handedly but rooney has a way of bringing the rest of the team into play & inspire them.Messi does well for himself but rooney brings goes further for the team.Imagine what tevez could do in a good citeh team,a potential world beater.
22/03/2010 16:10:00
What we all will agree on is that all 3 of them are talented but in terms of natural talent I guess I will have to agree with Zae that Messi is really something special but if I was a manager I would pick Rooney because of his attitude,his desire to win,for me it is above everyone else when the team is not playing well,he will do something that will just spark the rest of the players into life,inspite of his talent he will sacrifice himself for the team and still give his 150% for the team.There are very little details that separates these players.
Antriksh (abmtd)
22/03/2010 19:22:00
Messi is one helluva player, but him and Roo have different attributes - ROo with his strength and physical presence, is different to Messi and his sublime skills.
Both are top of the world at the moment, but they are different players.
I would rather have Roo in my team, as he can lift the team, Messi would just take the ball on his own goal line and dibble past the opposition players, and score - Messi to me is a one man player, Roo is a team player...
22/03/2010 21:24:00
If Messi attempted to do some of the things he is known best for in this league against the more physical sides, he would probably end the match with a broken leg. The spanish league is a lot less physical than the premier league and a player like Messi fits it perfectly. Also a lot of the players in Messi's team make him look a lot better than he really is e.g Xavi, Iniesta.
23/03/2010 06:48:00
Id have both Messi and Ronaldo over Rooney. Rooney is superb though
23/03/2010 14:18:00
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