Reeling Rooney: Iniesta is world's best

ROME - Manchester United's Wayne Rooney did not let the disappointment of Wednesday's 2-0 defeat in the Champions League final stop him hailing Barcelona's Andres Iniesta as the world's best player.

Iniesta was instrumental as the Catalans controlled midfield to claim their third European Cup with relative ease. He laid on Samuel Eto'o's 10th-minute opener before Lionel Messi sealed victory with a rare header in the second half.

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"They are a brilliant team and I think Iniesta is the best player in the world at the moment," the forward, among the English champions' biggest disappointments on the night, told reporters.

United made a bright start with FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo having a number of chances, but it was a one-sided affair after Eto'o struck and Rooney admitted his team were comprehensively beaten.

"They scored their goals at good times and made it difficult for us" he said.

"Barcelona pass the ball so well and if you don't take your chances they punish you."

Defending champions United, in contrast, were uncharacteristically careless with possession and Rooney was one of the worst offenders.

He made no secret of how bitter the defeat tasted.

"I'm hurting at the moment, but we've got to get over it and look to next season," he said.

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