Years after hailing Lionel Messi the GOAT, DC United manager Wayne Rooney doubts Messi’s ability to provide instant impact

Lionel Messi is one of the biggest names in the soccer world. Around the world, he is adored by both critics and fans. However, with the big responsibilities that come with his name, the seven times Ballon d’Or winner has seen his fair share of criticism throughout the years as well.

Such a critic is former Manchester United player Wayne Rooney. The 37-year-old former England National Team captain has kept the Argentinian ahead of his former teammate and Messi’s archrival, Cristiano Ronaldo, for years. 

However, the current DC United manager has questioned Messi’s abilities upon hearing of the superstar’s arrival in the MLS.

Rooney forecasts MLS Challenge for Lionel Messi

Rooney believes that Messi will have a difficult time adjusting to the league despite his exceptional skills. Speaking to beIN Sports, the DC United manager said: “It’d be nice if we were his first opponents for DC fans to see him up close and for us to challenge ourselves against him. One thing I will say – it’s not going to be easy for him.”

“The league’s a difficult league, and I don’t think he’s going to come over here and absolutely tear it up immediately. He’ll have to adapt because it’s a bit different, it won’t be an easy ride for him,” he further added.

Lionel Messi

Despite all his critics, Rooney believes Messi will be an excellent addition to Major League Soccer, “I think it’s great to bring Messi into the league. We’ve all seen, over the years, the impact of David Beckham coming in, Zlatan coming in. Different players from overseas.”

“To get Messi in the league, arguably the greatest player of all time, and still – he’s a little bit older – but not long ago he won the World Cup almost single-handed. It’s going to be great for the league and for Miami,” he added.

English legend went on record to claim Messi’s superiority over Cristiano Ronaldo 

Last year, the former England captain took to social media to praise the seven times Ballon d’Or winner. He referenced a tweet that he posted upon Messi’s 5 goal haul against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League back in 2012, which said: “Messi is a joke. For me the best ever.”

After Messi and co.’s sublime display against Croatia in the 2022 World Cup semifinal, Rooney tweeted: “Nothing has changed,” with an emoji of a goat.

This might come as a surprise to many, as Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo were teammates at a very successful Manchester United team. Together, they won the 2008 Champions League, and three consecutive Premier League titles in 2007,2008, and 2009.

Ronaldo is really the only player in the debate of the goat against Lionel Messi, so no wonder many raised their eyebrows when Rooney snubbed his former teammate for the 36-year-old Argentinian.

Lionel Messi

What do you think about Wayne Rooney’s comments on Lionel Messi? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Tanzeem Rahman

255 articles

Tanzeem Rahman is a soccer writer and an editor at SportsZion. Tanzeem's love for the sport began by watching and admiring Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days. Having graduated from Germany as an Electrical Engineer, Tanzeem has watched multiple high-profile games throughout Europe from the gallery. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as sublime english proficiency has been an asset to SportsKnot. Outside of his duty, Tanzeem is a gamer, and loves to spend time watching Anime and reading Manga.


Leave a Comment