Manchester United legend, Wayne Rooney has admitted that all football players are jealous of Cristiano Ronaldo. While elaborating why he said so, the 36-year-old Derby County coach noted that only Lionel Messi can not be jealous of Ronaldo.
The above claim was Rooney’s reaction to Cristiano Ronaldo’s comment that Wayne Rooney is jealous of him for saying that his return to Manchester United in August 2021 was not beneficial to the Premier League club.
Recall that Rooney appeared on Monday Night Football show on Sky Sports alongside Liverpool’s legend Jamie Carragher earlier in the week. While speaking on the show, Rooney urged Manchester United to replace Ronaldo and Paul Pogba with younger players.
The retired footballer noted that Ronaldo has scored important goals for Manchester United since he returned to the club in August 2021, he however added that United need more than that.
“But I think if you’re looking to the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift Manchester United over these next two or three years,” Rooney said.
“Obviously, Cristiano is getting on a bit. He certainly isn’t the player he was in his 20s, and that happens – that’s football.
“He’s a goal threat, but the rest of the game they need more and they need young, hungry players.”
After the show, Rooney took to his Instagram page to post a picture of himself, Jamie Carragher, and Sky Sports presenter David Jones. Ronaldo used the Instagram post to hit back at Rooney and Carragher by commenting “Two jealous”.
Less than 24 hours after he commented, Rooney had the chance to respond to Ronaldo on Thursday, April 7, 2022. In his reaction, the 36-year-old retired footballer who played alongside Ronaldo between 2004 and 2009 admitted that Ronaldo has achieved a lot to make other players jealous.
Wayne Rooney noted that Ronaldo has won a lot of trophies, earn a lot of money from football, and has a perfect body to make anyone jealous. He however excluded Paris Saint Germain forward Lionel Messi from those who could be jealous of Ronaldo as if he was confirming that Messi is the greatest footballer of all time.
Rooney said: “There’s probably not a football player on the planet that isn’t jealous of Cristiano.
“The career he’s had, the trophies he’s won, the money he’s earned… the six-pack, his body.
“I think every player, bar probably Lionel Messi, is jealous of Cristiano.”
Why did Wayne Rooney believe that Lionel Messi cannot be jealous of Cristiano Ronaldo?
Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo had a good time playing together at Manchester United between 2004 and 2009 before Ronaldo decided to leave United for Real Madrid for a then world transfer record fee worth £88 million.
Before Ronaldo left Manchester United, the 37-year-old Portuguese star had won three Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League title, and a FIFA Club World Cup. To crown it all, he won his first Ballon d’Or while at United.
When he got to Real Madrid, Ronaldo won four more UEFA Champions League titles and four more Ballon d’Or before he decided to join Juventus in 2018.
Altogether, Ronaldo has won 32 major titles with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. And he is Real Madrid’s all-time highest goalscorer with 450 goals in all competitions.
As for Wayne Rooney, the retired English footballer remains the all-time highest goalscorer at Manchester United with 253 goals. Before he retired in 2021, Rooney managed to win a total number of 13 major trophies in his football career.
Rooney intentionally decided to exclude Lionel Messi from the group of players that are jealous of Ronaldo because in terms of the number of major titles and individual awards won, Messi is ahead of Ronaldo and he is just 34-year-old.
For instance, Messi who spent the best part of his career at FC Barcelona has won a total number of 35 major titles and won a record seven Ballon d’Or, two more than his career rival, Ronaldo.
The fact that PSG are currently topping the French Ligue 1 table this season and Manchester United are currently occupying the seventh spot on the Premier League table means that Messi is more likely to win more trophies than Ronaldo.
As it stands, Ronaldo is only superior to Messi in terms of the total number of goals scored. Currently, Ronaldo has scored 807 goals and provided 229 assists in 1,112 appearances. While Messi has scored 760 goals and provided 325 assists in 963 appearances.
Also, Ronaldo is more successful in the UEFA Champions League than Messi. The 34-year-old Argentine football icon has won just four Champions League titles. While 36-year-old Ronaldo has won five Champions League titles and is currently the league’s all-time highest goalscorer with 140 goals.