Lineker: Rooney was never going to become a Ronaldo or Messi

Wayne Rooney

England legend Gary Lineker has had his say on the career of Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney.

The Match of the Day pundit believes that Rooney was never going to turn into a truly great player like La Liga stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and adds that he thinks his best days are behind him now that he is 28-years-old.

When Rooney broke onto the scene as a freckle-faced youngster for Everton in 2002 great things were expected of his. He moved to United two years later and went on to win every club trophy possible.

For England though Rooney just hasn't lifted them to the heights many had expected, and Lineker claims since Euro 2004 the striker hasn't go on to really fulfil his potential.

Lineker told talkSPORT: "During his first major tournament, he was a huge success and looked like being a superstar.

"We’ve seen a lot of great things from Rooney over a long period. There’s no question he’s a terrific player.

"[But] he’s not gone on to become a Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. Realistically, he was never going to be one of the all-time great players.

"At the same time, he’s one of the best English players we’ve had, there’s no doubt about that. He is world class.”

Lineker, who is just seven goals ahead of Rooney in the all-time leading scorers list for England, added that because of his age it's 'unlikely' we'll see the number 10 get any better in the future.

“Whether we’ll see something better from him in the future is unlikely. Statistically, your prime years are between 22 to 28-years-old, after that you gradually peter out.”

Rooney celebrated 10 years at Manchester United last Saturday by scoring and then getting sent off in the 2-1 home win against West Ham.

He is still 30 goals behind Bobby Charlton's record goal haul for United; the club legend also hold the England record.

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