Cristiano Ronaldo has distanced himself from criticism that he thrives on individual success.
Rooney commented last week that he is not motivated by personal glory, unlike Real Madrid star Ronaldo, who he claimed ‘had to have’ a legacy.
''I'm not a player who needs a legacy – like Cristiano, he has to have that. I'm more about winning as a team,' Rooney said.
But Ronaldo has now hit back at the claims, saying he has nothing to prove and that he cannot carry Portugal on his own.
“I don’t think I have to show anyone anything,” Ronaldo is reported as saying in the Telegraph.
“Look at my statistics and my CV – I have nothing to prove. My career has been great so far and I just want that to continue."
“But I believe that one player is not a team. I am here to help the team. I am an additional player and I can make a difference, but I can’t carry the team on my back.”
Although they maintain a good relationship, Rooney and Ronaldo have not been without their personal rifts during their careers. They famously clashed back at the 2006 World Cup, where Ronaldo appeared to influence the sending off of Rooney in a quarter-final game between England and Portugal.
The two have been similar in terms of club success since Ronaldo left United back in 2009. Rooney has won two more Premier League titles and a league cup during that time, while Ronaldo has won a La Liga title and the Champions League with Madrid.
Ronaldo as an individual has enjoyed more success than Rooney, having been either runner-up or the winner of the Ballon d’Or title for the last three years. Both are seen as the outstanding talent in their national sides, with England and Portugal outsiders for World Cup glory this summer.