Sport Soccer

Sunday 8 December 2019

Barton: Maybe Wayne Rooney was world class, but not anymore

Wayne Rooney is not at the same level as Ronaldo, Messi, Iniesta and Suarez says Barton.
Wayne Rooney is not at the same level as Ronaldo, Messi, Iniesta and Suarez says Barton.

Joey Barton has defended his claims that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is not world class by stating the term is bandied about too loosely.

The outspoken midfielder was critical of the current crop of England players and claimed that while the United striker is the pick of the bunch, he simply isn’t in the same league as other players at the moment.

“Rooney could have been world class but look at his mentality compared to Cristiano Ronaldo,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live Sport.

“They are polar opposites.”

"Why does Ronaldo achieve what he achieves and Rooney doesn't? When you see Wayne Rooney smoking cigarettes, does he live his life correctly?

"From the questions I've asked of players who have worked with both....he (Ronaldo) is in the gym or honing his game.

"The level of discipline he has for his chosen profession is the reason he is the best player in the world at the present time, and that's the reason Rooney isn't."

In a series of tweets today, Barton stood by his comments and illustrated who he feels fits the billing as a truly world-class player.

“Now shall I tell you what World Class is for me. Ronaldo and Messi. Iniesta and Suarez. WC (world class) is a term thrown about far too often, he tweeted while also adding that the England striker is “infinitely” a better player than he is.

“Maybe Wayne was has been in WC bracket before. I would have to say now he isn't,” he added.

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