History will show Wayne Rooney as being one of England’s all-time greatest players.
Recent years haven’t been the kindest to Wazza on the international stage, falling in and out of favour with managers and fans alike.
But there’s no doubt the Everton man’s legacy is secure, having bagged 53 goals in 119 games in a Three Lions shirt.
And while we can sit here and heap praise on the ex-Manchester United star, all you have to do is look at what some of the world’s greatest ever players have said about Rooney in the past.
It’s easy to forget that at one stage, Rooney was one of very few genuinely world class England players, and it’s something the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry have backed up over the years.
Cristiano Ronaldo on Rooney (2015)
“I miss playing with Rooney. He was the kid of England, everyone loved him. He was so powerful I was calling him ‘Pitbull.’
“The power of Wayne Rooney is his mentality and strength and he never stops.
“He’s a fantastic team player and he scores. He’s a fantastic boy and he helped me a lot when he came to join us in Manchester.”
Lionel Messi on Rooney (2016)
“There has always been a great deal of respect between myself and Wayne Rooney.
“For me he is the greatest English player of the generation.”
Thierry Henry on Rooney (2015)
“You will only truly appreciate Rooney when he has retired. It’s a shame but it’s always like that.
“Trust me, people talk about him outside of this country. In Spain and France, he is appreciated as a top, top player.”
Xavi on Rooney (2016)
“Wayne Rooney has been one of the best players in Europe over the last ten years.”
Gary Lineker on Rooney (2017)
“So many buffoons denouncing Wayne Rooney’s international career. You have no idea how good he is or how hard it is. Stick to playing FIFA.”
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“Last night he was 14/1 to be the next Prem boss to go – now our traders have been forced to slash him to just 6/4.”
“And with Thomas Tuchel hovering that price will only go one way.”
Steven Gerrard on Rooney (2014)
“In years to come anyone who is looking back at records and looks at goals and caps, Wayne Rooney’s name will come up and I think he deserves both accolades.”
Gerard Pique on Rooney (2009)
“I have never seen a player as powerful as Rooney – the way he goes past people, the intensity of his play, the runs he makes from the first minute to the last and the shot that he has.”
Neymar on Rooney (2013)
“I have met Wayne on a few occasions and he seems a good guy but importantly, he is one of the players I admire most in the world.
“Wayne is one of the most gifted and technical players in the world.”
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Ronaldinho on Rooney (2004)
“Rooney is one of the best players in the world. He’s already very important, but in the future his contribution is going to be even greater.”
John Terry on Rooney (2015)
“I’ve had the pleasure to play alongside Wayne and for me, he’s England’s best ever. I’ve seen firsthand him do things with the ball that I’ve never seen before.”