VIDEO: Rio quizzes Rooney on Ronaldo

Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney has admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player he has ever played with on a football pitch, in an interview with team-mate Rio Ferdinand.

Rooney and Ronaldo share a well-documented past after the events at the last World Cup in 2006, where the latter was slammed for his alleged attempts to get Rooney sent off in England’s quarter-final clash with Portugal.

Ronaldo was caught winking to the Portuguese bench after the England striker’s red card, but Rooney has again quashed talk of any hard feelings by insisting the Real Madrid forward is the best he’s ever lined up with.

“It’s difficult, there’s so many great players,” Rooney told #5 magazine.

“Steven Gerrard’s a great player, Paul Scholes for Manchester United. I’d have to say Ronaldo for what he did for us – the season we won the Champions League he scored 42 goals.”

And Rooney also revealed a handful of his childhood heroes, including current Manchester United team-mate and former-England striker Michael Owen.

“Shearer and Gazza [Paul Gascoigne] were the main two, and a bit later Michael Owen. I think when he scored his goal against Argentina he was the most exciting player in world football. I remember trying to pretend I was him in the streets, so I’ve been quite lucky to play with him.”

On the subject of the World Cup, 24-year-old Rooney recites his first tournament memory – but it wasn’t Owen’s solo strike against Argentina at France ’98, nor from anybody in an England shirt for that matter.

“1994, Ray Houghton [of the Republic of Ireland] scored a chip against Italy. I don’t know why I always remember that, it was the only thing I remember from that World Cup!” 

By Joe Brewin

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