Rooney once in a generation player: Messi
One of the game's greatest players, Lionel Messi, has praised Wayne Rooney, calling him a "special" player that's not comparable to any others.
Rooney just eclipsed Sir Bobby Charlton's goal-scoring record for the English national team, and Messi drew comparisons between himself and the Manchester United and Three Lions captain.
"Wayne Rooney is for me a once in a generation player. One of those special players, who is not comparable to any other," Messi said in a story in the the Mirror.
Messi, who scored a late goal on Tuesday night to help Argentina earn a 2-2 friendly draw with Mexico, went on to disagree with those who have labeled Rooney as one of the game's greats, but not truly world class.
"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.
"Rooney is a winner. He will just be focused on success with England in the European Championship," Messi said. "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 has yet to win a major trophy with Argentina, most recently having lost in the World Cup final to Germany in 2014 and then to Chile in the final of the 2015 Copa America.
The Barcelona No. 10 added: "Like I say, Wayne is a winner. It will always be the team first and personal records second."