Videos: The better goal - Rooney or Beckham? Three ex pros debate

Whose long-range howitzer is greater out of two of Manchester United's most known sons?

Wayne Rooney's long-range effort struck against West Ham United on Sunday at the Boleyn Ground during Manchester United's 2-0 win has drawn comparisons to former Red Devil David Beckham's career-beginning half-way line lob against Wimbledon in 1996.

However, which was the better goal in terms of distance, power, effort-level but, perhaps most importantly, in terms of technique? Even the former professionals find it hard to separate the two goals, as Dwight Yorke, Jamie Redknapp and Alan Smith all debated the merits of both goals today, Monday.

Beckham's was 2.1 yards further out from the goal than Rooney's, was 0.1mph slower and took an additional 0.1 seconds to pass the goal-line compared to Rooney's 45.5mph and 57.9 yard strike, which took 2.6 seconds to go from boot to net.

Speaking to Sky Sports, former United star Dwight Yorke said: "[Rooney] has scored some spectacular goals in the past - against City and he scored one against Newcastle - but I think Becks would be very proud of this one."

Yorke then stated that the trivela nature of the shot ensures it is a much more difficult goal to score: "I think it's a much more difficult skill [than Beckham's]. He hits it with a bit of 'swazz' as we say in football - the outside of the boot.

"It's much easier to kick it off the deck. I think to hit it with 'swazz', with the outside of your boot that far, is a difficult skill. Obviously Wazza can do that. We've seen time and time again he has always produced these magical moments. To do that knowing how important this game was - and to try it - was just fantastic."

As a reminder, here is a clip of Rooney's goal…

Jamie Redknapp, countered this viewpoint in the Daily Mail by remarking: "The Premier League has a habit of producing defining moments and Wayne Rooney’s goal against West Ham was a showstopper.

"With David Beckham watching at Upton Park, the comparisons with his strike against Wimbledon were inevitable. It takes audacity to have a shot from that distance, let alone score. Pele tried it and failed, Xabi Alonso scored two goals from his own half in a year and Beckham and Rooney now have one each.

"Rooney’s was instinctive and a lot of players would struggle to even kick it that far. The volley is a harder technique, but footballs are easier to ping through the air these days and Beckham’s strike was from inside his own half - that’s why Beckham’s goal edges it for me."

Here is a highlight of Beckham's goal from almost two decades ago…

Alan Smith, a former striker like Yorke, agreed with Dwight and said on Sky Sports: "From a technical point of view… Becks is easier. It's almost stationary, on the deck and easier to get accuracy to get the weight of the ball right.

"Ask former footballers and [they'll say] you'd have it on the deck. You've got more control."

He continued: "It's a fantastic and iconic goal, get my right, but in terms of technique, Rooney's [is better]. He's had to turn, glance up and see. Beckham can see situation for longer."

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