Lionel Messi praises Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney amid criticism

by Tanveer Arayan

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has praised Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney following criticism of the 30-year-old.

Rooney, currently injured, has taken his fair share of flak in recent weeks as his critics believe Man United and England would be better off without him in the starting XI.

The scrutiny recently prompted England boss Roy Hodgson to defend his captain and Messi also insisted that Rooney still has what it takes to succeed at the highest level.

“There has always been a great deal of respect between myself and Wayne Rooney,” Messi said.

“For me he is the great English player of the generation. What he is capable of doing on the field is very special, and he is one of the few players that would improve any squad in Europe.”

Marcus Rashford has impressed for United in Rooney’s absence, while Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane are in excellent form for Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively.

Nobody is doubting that Rooney is a spent force but he undoubtedly faces a fight on his hands to get back into the fold. That being said, Rooney has often faced adversity during his career and he has always bounced back.

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