Did you hear Talk Sport’s Mark Saggers commentary on the England friendly last night? Co-commentator, Stan Colleymore agreed with Mark’s view at the end of the game – essentially that Rooney hasn’t been world-class at the recent Euro and World Cup tournaments, in fact far, far from it.
I agree with Saggers and wonder if Rooney has ever been truly ‘world-class’?
When talking world-class in midfielders and forwards I think of Eusébio, Charlton, Best, Pele, Muller, Maradona, Zidane, Ronaldinho, ‘old’ Ronaldo, Iniesta, ‘new’ Ronaldo and Messi. Would Scholes, Hoddle, Beckham, Xavi also make the list? In that company, I’d be really struggling to include Rooney. On current form Hazard outshines Rooney in Premier League performances week in, week out.
At the South Africa World Cup, I thought Rooney’s first touch was simply awful – and something, even with a different ball, which still hasn’t fully returned. I’d also suggest that even his Premier League form has had very few stand-out, game changing performances. The last I can remember was the bicycle-kick against City – that was world-class – have I missed anything else?
Let’s not confuse occasional moments of genius with regular match changing world-class contributions in league and international matches. On that basis, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are currently truly world-class. On the world stage, Rooney has a place but won’t be remembered as a great – his performances don’t earn the right to be considered in the same breath as the above names.
The truth hurts sometimes – wake up Wayne and smell the coffee.