Wayne Rooney: Cristiano Ronaldo has overtaken Lionel Messi as world’s best

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Wayne Rooney is backing his old teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, as the current Manchester United captain has lauded the Real Madrid forward as the best player in the world.

[RELATED: Ronaldo wins golden shoe]

On Wednesday Lionel Messi equaled Raul’s record haul of 71 goals all-time in the UEFA Champions League, while Ronaldo is one behind on 70. After Ronaldo won the Ballon D’or last season as the best player in the world voted for by FIFA, he has continued his incredible form throughout the summer and into the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

Speaking to United’s website, Rooney endorsed Ronaldo’s bid to win back-to-back Ballon D’or awards ahead of Messi.

“I think so. He’s had an incredible two or three years and I think he has certainly overtaken Lionel Messi now as the best player in the world. I’m sure it’ll be difficult to give it to anyone else.”

Rooney loves Ronny… how sweet. But in all seriousness, Ronaldo does deserve to be crowned as the  best player on the planet for a second-straight season when the glitzy award night occurs in Monaco in January. At 29 he has truly matured as a player and his stats over the past two seasons are simply mind-boggling. In the 2013-14 season he scored 56 in 49 games, while this season he has scored 23 goals in 17 appearances for club and country.

As for Lionel Messi, the Argentine forward has scored 11 goals in 14 games this season and despite picking up the player of the tournament at this summer’s World Cup, he was largely criticized for several tired-looking performances.

The Ronaldo or Messi debate will rumble on. But at least we know which side Rooney is on. Could this glowing endorsement be a ploy to help keep him in Ronaldo’s good books and try to entice the Portuguese superstar back to Manchester United one day?

Those rumors rumble on, but for now Ronaldo seems to have one thing on his mind: continuing world domination.