Lionel Messi called Wayne Rooney a “once in a generation” player following the Manchester United star's 50th goal in 107 games for the the English national team, which broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s 45-year-old record, according to the Daily Mirror.
“Wayne Rooney is for me a once in a generation player,” Messi said. “One of those special players, who is not comparable to any other. There are many special players, but Rooney has exceptional quality and technical ability as well as being one of the strongest players I have faced with an exceptional work rate – there is nobody like him.”
Messi went on to applaud Rooney's international success at championship stages as some critics are quick to note Messi has never won a major trophy while representing Argentina after losing the World Cup final to Germany in 2014 and the 2015 Copa America final to Chile.
“Rooney is a winner,” Messi said. “He will just be focused on success with England in the European Championship. I have always said the same is true of myself and Argentina—breaking caps and goals records mean nothing unless they come with trophies.”
Messi owns 49 goals for Argentina since joining their senior squad in 2005.
- Christopher Chavez