FIFA World Cup: I would drop Ronaldo, says Rooney as war of words continues

FIFA World Cup: I would drop Ronaldo, says Rooney as war of words continues

Former England footballer Wayne Rooney has made a big statement on Portugal’s star Cristiano Ronaldo as the FIFA World Cup 2022 kicked off in Qatar on Sunday (November 20).

Rooney, speaking on Sports18, suggested that he would drop his former club teammate Ronaldo when asked who he would start, bench and drop between Lionel Messi, Harry Kane and the Portuguese star.

Also read: FIFA World Cup 2022: All you need to know about the tournament in Qatar

“I would start Messi, bench Kane and drop Ronaldo because he stopped playing for his club,” the former England captain said.

Rooney and Ronaldo played together at Manchester United for five seasons between 2004 and 2009. Recently, the duo has been involved in a war of words.

Also read: Live telecast, streaming of FIFA World Cup in India with channel numbers

First, Rooney criticised Ronaldo for his behaviour at Manchester United. And, Ronaldo had hit back at him saying he was “jealous”.

“I don’t know why he (Rooney) criticised me so badly. Probably [jealously]. Probably – because he finished his career in his 30s. I’m still playing at a high level; I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him, which is true,” Ronaldo said in an interview with British TV journalist Piers Morgan.

Also read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Schedule, groups, match times in IST, venues, live TV, streaming, and more

Portugal will open its FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign against Ghana on Thursday.

Rooney recognised Kane as the key to England’s progress, and Kane will overtake him as England’s top scorer.

“He is a goal-scorer. If England goes far in this tournament, it is going to be because of Harry Kane. I hope he scores those goals because England needs them if they have to win,” said Rooney, adding it will be a tough contest against Iran but predicted a 1-0 win for England.

“I hope he does, but I do not think it will be tomorrow (Monday),” said Rooney if Kane could overtake him in the match against Iran tonight.

Speaking about the match tonight (November 21) against Iran, Rooney singled out Phil Foden as the ‘X’ factor. “I think with his ability, he is never quite short of form. If he brings the form he has shown for Manchester City for England, it gives England an extra dimension to move ahead,” Rooney explained.

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