“With Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s different, and it’s the same with Lionel Messi” – Wayne Rooney
“Cristiano’s coming back into the best league in the world, so he knows it is going to be challenging. And, of course, coming back to Manchester United, he’ll want to prove himself again at the club, and he sets the highest standards for himself. But if there’s one player in the world who can live up to that challenge, it’s Cristiano.”
Acknowledging that Ronaldo is a different player than what he was when he left the club 12 years ago, Rooney said:
“I think he’s a completely different player to when he was last playing in the Premier League. The last time he played here he was more of a runner, a great dribbler, with pace and power, whereas now he’s a goalscorer. His game has adapted dramatically since then, and I’m not at all surprised he is still going strong at 36.”
Considering Ronaldo’s impressive attributes and the way he has looked after himself over the years, it won’t be inconceivable to see him playing till the 40s. Rooney said:
“His ability is obviously one thing, but he’s also looked after himself massively; you can see the shape he’s in, he’s still in great condition. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s playing until he’s 40, like Giggsy did, and still scoring goals.”
Rooney played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo for five years at Manchester United, and struck up an impressive partnership with the forward during his first stint at the club.
“Cristiano Ronaldo scores goals and wins you games” – Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney believes that even though Cristiano Ronaldo is now in the twilight of his career, the 36-year old could still be an effective forward for Manchester United. He explained:
“The general rule is the older you get, the further back you play,” Rooney explained. With Cristiano it’s different, and it’s the same with Lionel Messi. Those two players are probably the only two at this level who only play in one half of the pitch. It’s box-to-box, high energy defending, which uses all your energy.”
Commending Ronaldo for his goalscoring ability, Rooney added:
“But when you have the ball in one half of the pitch, it’s all about scoring goals. The rest of his teammates will have to work a little harder. But if it’s anything like the last time – towards the last two years of playing with him – the team allowed him to do that because Cristiano scores you goals, and wins you games.”
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