EPL

'Every player bar Lionel Messi is jealous of Cristiano' – Rooney responds to Ronaldo's 'jealous' swipe

By Sports Desk April 07, 2022

Wayne Rooney insists Lionel Messi is the only player who is not jealous of Cristiano Ronaldo, who seemingly hit out at his former team-mate after he criticised the forward's return to Manchester United.

The Portugal captain has found the net 18 times in 33 games in all competitions since his Old Trafford comeback, averaging a goal every 148 minutes, but United are out of all the cup competitions and down in seventh in the Premier League.

That has led to questions over the tenure of Ralf Rangnick, the next permanent appointment for the Red Devils, and United's transfer dealings, with Ronaldo and Paul Pogba both scrutinised.

Rooney, who appeared on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, suggested Pogba should move on and concurred with fellow pundit Jamie Carragher that the return of Ronaldo had disappointed.

"You'd have to say no, at the minute," he said when asked had Ronaldo's transfer worked. "He's a goal threat, but the rest of his game, I think they need more. I think they need young, hungry players."

Rooney later posted a photo to Instagram of him on the programme, and Ronaldo appeared to hit back as he commented "Two Jealous" to the Derby County manager.

But United legend Rooney, who played with Ronaldo during his first stint in Manchester, has responded to the backlash by praising his former colleague as he suggested the former Real Madrid man is idolised by most professionals.

"I saw that this morning," he said on Thursday when asked about Ronaldo's reply. "I'd say there's probably not a footballer on the planet who isn't jealous of Cristiano.

"The career he's had, the trophies he's won, the money he's earned… his six pack! Every player bar Lionel Messi is jealous of Cristiano."

Ronaldo will aim to prove his doubters wrong when United head to lowly Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.

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