Wayne Rooney on Cristiano Ronaldo: did DC United manager say Lionel Messi is the better footballer?

Cristiano Ronaldo has aired a controversial interview with Piers Morgan

Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo has hit the headlines after airing a controversial interview with Piers Morgan. During the interview the 37-year-old striker launched a scathing attack on the Manchester United manager and former teammate Wayne Rooney.

Ronaldo and Rooney were once regarded as one of the most prolific strike partnerships in world football and, at the peak of their powers, the pair delivered a series of trophies for Man Utd including the Champions League and Premier League double in 2008.

However, it appears that not all is well between the former Man United duo. Over the course of this season, Ronaldo has faced a great deal of criticism, with Rooney the latest to hit out at his former team mate.

But what did Rooney say about Ronaldo - and how did the Portuguese star respond during the Piers Morgan interview?

Here is everything you need to know.

What did Wayne Rooney say about Cristiano Ronaldo?

During an interview on TalkSport, Wayne Rooney criticised Ronaldo for his conduct this season and described his actions as a distraction that they don’t need at the moment.

The Portuguese star handed in a transfer request during the summer transfer window and refused to appear as a substitute during a game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were teammates at Manchester United. (Getty Images)

Rooney said: “The things he has done from the start of the season are not acceptable for Manchester United. I’ve seen people like Roy Keane defending him. Roy wouldn’t accept that. Roy wouldn’t accept that at all.

“It’s a distraction which Manchester United don’t need at the minute, they are trying to rebuild and for Cristiano just get your head down and work and be ready to play when the manager needs you. I think if he does that then he will be an asset and if he doesn’t he will become an unwanted distraction.”

How did Ronaldo respond to Wayne Rooney’s criticism?

Ronaldo launched an attack on several figures at Manchester United during his interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, addressing a series of issues during his 90 minute interview.

The Portuguese star threw criticism at the likes of Erik Ten Hag, the Glazers and Gary Neville. Rooney’s comments were one of the topics to come up in the interview.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road on December 11, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Ronaldo said: “I don’t know why he criticises me so badly…probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at a high level.”

The Portuguese star later commented: “I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true…”

When did Wayne Rooney retire from football?

Wayne Rooney announced his retirement from professional football in 2021 at the age of 36 in a bid to focus on his managerial duties at Derby County.

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on February 2, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Rooney enjoyed a decorated career which saw him lift five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups and the Champions League.  Rooney remains the record goalscorer for both the England national team and for his former club Manchester United.

The 37-year-old is currently the manager of MLS side DC United.

Does Rooney think Messi is a better footballer than Ronaldo?

Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated world football for over a decade and are widely regarded as the most talented players in football history.

Those who have played alongside Ronaldo have often sided with him and described him as the best ever player, but this wasn’t the case with Wayne Rooney who claimed that Messi is the more complete player.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at Camp Nou on September 12, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Rooney said: “Despite my friendship with Cristiano, I’d go for Messi. Ronaldo is ruthless in the box, a killer. But Messi will torture you before he kills you. With Messi you just get the impression he is having more fun. Those two have completely changed the game in terms of goal scoring numbers, and I don’t think they’ll ever be matched.”