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World Cup: Wayne Rooney ranks Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Harry Kane

Wayne Rooney has been at the centre of a lot of media attention in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo criticising his former teammate as part of an explosive interview with Piers Morgan.

With Rooney have recently raised questions about Ronaldo‘s behaviour at Manchester United this season, the tables were turned last week as the Portuguese superstar delivered a damning verdict on his critics.

When Morgan put it to Ronaldo that Rooney’s comments might have been born out of jealousy, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner responded: “Probably, because he finished his career in his 30s.

What did Ronaldo say about Rooney?

“I’m still playing at a high level, I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him, which is true. It’s hard to listen to that kind of criticism and negativity from people who played with you, for example Gary Neville as well.

“People can have their own opinion but they don’t really know what’s going on inside the training ground at Carrington or even my life. They should listen to not only one point of view, they have to listen to my point of view as well. It’s easy to criticise but if you don’t know the whole story, it’s easy.

“They are not my friends. It’s easy to criticise, I don’t know if they have a job in television that they must criticise to be more famous. I really don’t understand it.”

Cristiano Ronaldo: Quiz about his first season back at Man United

Since then, Rooney has handled himself with admirable class and composure, continuing to heap praise upon Ronaldo while still not being afraid to keep holding his ground.

But the England icon will nevertheless be acutely aware that any and every journalist will want to ask him about the Ronaldo saga over the coming weeks.

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 30: Cristiano Ronaldo (R) of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team’s third goal with team mate Wayne Rooney during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford on December 30, 2006 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Read more: Rooney vs Ronaldo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s verdict on Man Utd icons resurfaces

What did Rooney say about Messi, Ronaldo and Kane?

However, Rooney might not have expected the Ronaldo topic to come up in quite the manner it did when he appeared on JioCinema alongside Arsenal legends Robert Pires and Sol Campbell.

That’s because the presenter decided to play the ‘start, bench, drop’ game with Rooney and handed him the following three players: Lionel Messi, Harry Kane and, well, you know who.

It’s important to stress that Rooney didn’t dive two-footed into his answer and instead took the time to really think things over, clarifying whether the question was in regards to right now or concerned the players’ careers as a whole.

Buy your Cristiano Ronaldo t-shirt from the GMS Shop

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That being said, once Rooney was told that it centred around the present day, his response was an emphatic one: “I’d have to start Messi, I’d bench Kane and leave Ronaldo out.”

Then, rather awkwardly, the presenter suggested to Rooney that he was off the Christmas card list and simply responded: “Alright, fair enough,” when he explained that it was down to Ronaldo hardly playing for United this season.

It might seem like a fair assessment within the context of the challenge presented to him, but given how Ronaldo has reacted to some of Rooney’s similarly fair comments in the past, it wouldn’t be surprising if this also rocked the boat:

Video: Rooney plays ‘start, bench, drop’ using Ronaldo, Messi and Kane

ROOOOONEYYYYYY pic.twitter.com/dwSom9IMdV

— 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (🇧🇷) (@LJxmes) November 20, 2022

A tough choice awaits @WayneRooney 😅

Who does he START, BENCH & DROP? 🤷‍♂️#FIFAWorldCupQatar2022 #WorldsGreatestShow #FIFAWorldCup #FIFAWConJioCinema #FIFAWConSports18 pic.twitter.com/YTQHDPbH2P

— JioCinema (@JioCinema) November 20, 2022

No doubt many fans will have been nodding along to Rooney’s answer with Messi currently in Ballon d’Or-contending form and Kane boasting 10 more goals than Ronaldo this season.

However, such is the mentality of Ronaldo, in that he is completely and totally committed to the belief that he’s the best player in the world, that you just know that comments like these will still grind his gears far more than the average footballer.

The funny thing is, though, that Ronaldo might well be feeding off anything like this he can get his hands on in order to pump himself up for his fifth World Cup campaign with Portugal.

Ronaldo looks miffed after a Portugal match.Soccer Football – UEFA Nations League – Group B – Portugal v Spain – Estadio Municipal de Braga, Braga, Portugal – September 27, 2022 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Miguel Vidal

And if he delivers, then you can rest assured that Rooney will still happily give his former teammate credit where it’s due in spite of everything. What a bizarre situation it’s all become!

Ronaldo to Chelsea ✅ Man United SACKING IMMINENT! (Football Terrace)

You can find all of the latest football news and rumours right here.

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