Rooney sets sights on matching Messi

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney believes he is capable of raising his game to the same level as World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

The England front-man came head-to-head with Messi in last season’s Champions League final, where the 24 year-old Argentine produced a footballing masterclass in Barcelona’s 3-1 victory.

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But Rooney is adamant that he can reach the diminutive wizard’s high standards. His aim is two-fold: being crowned World Player of the Year himself and leading Manchester United to victory in the Champions League.

"Messi is a great player and rightly World Player of the Year," he said in The Sun.

"For every footballer out there, not just me, that's the target you want to try to get to and, hopefully, I can.

"I want to do well all the time and know I can always improve.

"I work hard every day to try to achieve that so it'll be great for me and the club if I do."

By Elliott Binks