Wayne Rooney insists Messi's the best but not suited to Premier League

31 May 2011 02:07
ShareWayne Rooney has revealed he is still reeling from the Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, but has claimed it would be difficult for Lionel Messi to have the same devastating impact if he played in the Premier League.

Rooney joined talkSPORT pundits Richard Keys and Andy Gray while his England team-mates trained ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland - a game the Manchester United forward will miss through suspension.

He agreed with Sir Alex Ferguson that Pep Guardiola's side is the best he's ever encountered, but believes Messi would need the support of the Barcelona midfield to prosper in England.

Radio rental: Rooney joins Gray and Keys in the talkSPORT studio

Asked if Messi could dictate games in the England as he does in Spain, Rooney said: 'If you bringXavi and Iniesta with him, yes. But it would be difficult, almost impossible for him to play as he does in Spain.

'The game is more physical here, going to the likes of Birmingham and Stoke away is very demanding. Cristiano Ronaldo is more suited to the English game than Messi. Cristiano is taller and good in the air.'

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On defeat in the showpiece Wembley final Rooney said: 'It hurt. I watched the game again because you can always learn by watching football. It was very disappointing but you have to put your hands up and say they were the better team. 'They are the best team I've seen and Lionel Messi the best player. I think he got three nutmegs in the first-half. On my PlayStation I can make him do what I want but he's even better in real life. The speed he moves his legs, in fact his wholebody, is amazing.

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'Messi wins them games but Xavi and Andres Inesta destroy you. They are simply a fantastic team, a very special side. That's the level we want to be at and we have to up our game to achieve this. The manager will be doing what he can to see we dothis. 'The plan was to try to win the ball from them as high up as possible and not allow them time on the ball. Wedidn't want to allow them to dictate play.

'I was told to stay as close to Sergio Busquets as possible and break off him when we had the ball. At times they had six in midfield with Messi and David Villa dropping back.'

Absent friends: Rooney dropped into the studio as his England team-mates went through their paces in training

And Rooney has lauded Paul Scholes as the best player he has ever played with. Scholes confirmed his retirement this morning, ending a 17-year career that brought him 10 league titles.

One of the quiet men at Old Trafford, Scholes did not even tell his team-mates what his future plans were. However, it had looked increasingly likely the 36-year-old would call it a day, leaving Rooney with a sense of loss.'He will be missed greatly,' Rooney told TalkSPORT. 'He is definitely the best player I have played with.

'I tried to ask him what he was doing but you don't get much out of him. I didn't think it would come this quickly. Everyone will be sad to see him stop. He is a great player.'

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 Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, David Villa, Andy Gray, Cristiano Ronaldo, Richard Keys, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Paul Scholes Places: Barcelona, Birmingham, Spain, United Kingdom, Switzerland

Source: Daily_Mail