World Cup 2010 - Milito: Rooney overrated

Sun, 27 Jun 13:44:00 2010

Argentina's Diego Milito believes it is "laughable" to suggest Wayne Rooney is on par with Lionel Messi.

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Milito was instrumental in Internazionale's Champions League winning season and made 48 appearances across all competitions - but, such is Argentina's strength-in-depth, only started one of the two-time world champions Group B fixtures in South Africa.

And the 31-year-old insists it is wrong to compare Rooney with World Footballer of the Year Messi.

"When we hear the English or anybody else in the world of football trying to compare Wayne Rooney with Messi, we find it laughable" Milito told the Daily Star Sunday.

"Rooney is a very good player there is no doubt about that - but to put him on the same level as Messi is wrong. It's not up for debate, it's just wrong.

"We are looking at a player in Messi who, when he retires, may very well be the best player to have graced the game. How can he be compared to anybody currently playing, let alone a player who has never ever won World Player of the Year?

"While I don't agree with it, I can understand Messi being compared to Kaka and Ronaldo, but Rooney? No, no, no."

Messi, however, was more diplomatic in his opinion of Rooney and even offered the goal-hungry striker, who has not scored in an England shirt since last September, some advice.

"Rooney should approach the game as if it were a pre-season friendly with Manchester United," said the Barcelona forward. "It might sound crazy but players like Rooney play at their best when they are not thinking.

"Top stars play at their peak when what they do is natural and instinctive. People have written that I can't play as well for Argentina as I can for Barcelona, so I know what pressure there is.

"But when Rooney is out there today [against Germany], it is about him, the ball and nothing else."


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