Former Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann has suggested Wayne Rooney lacks the work ethic to be considered a world class player like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Rooney, who has just been appointed Manchester United’s new captain, is the club’s third all-time leading goal scorers after his acrobatic effort against Swansea City on Saturday took his tally to 217 in all competitions.
Despite his goal-scoring efforts, Rooney has consistently come under flack and the ex-Liverpool and City midfielder Hamann is the latest to launch a damning verdict on the England international.
“You have to live like a top player,” Hamann told Perform.”If you want to be the best, you have to live like the best.
“And if you like to party on the weekends and drink beer or a glass of wine too much that could be negative for your performance and I think that’s the big difference between Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Rooney always knocked on the door to be world class but never did the final step. And Ronaldo overtook him because he’s obsessed. He’s a real hard worker. The way he shoots his free kicks is the result of years of training. That doesn’t come overnight.”
“As I said, often the really talented players tend to do a little bit less because they can get away with it and the others are not as talented as they are. But if you have the talent, the morale and if work really hard just then you’ll become a Ronaldo or a Messi.”
It’s not the first time Rooney has been criticised by a fellow professional.
Earlier in the summer, United legend Paul Scholes suggested his former team-mate had already ‘peaked’, and questioned whether the England management team had the ‘balls’ to drop Rooney should he underperform at the World Cup.
Despite a dismal showing from England, with Rooney’s performances widely criticised, United’s new manager Louis van Gaal rewarded Rooney with the captaincy after impressing the Dutchman during pre-season.
Hamann believes this new-found honour may help elevate Rooney to the levels has always been expected to perform to.
“Van Gaal made him the captain. He knows that it’s his last chance – he is 28 or 29,” Hamann said.
“Rooney needs to perform now, he has three or four years left to play at the highest level. Van Gaal is a coach who gets the best out of players – or he sends them away.
“He made him captain, the relationship seems to be good, and that is good for Manchester United and for Wayne Rooney.
“I am expecting a lot from him this season, but we have to wait to see whether the team is good enough.”
Image courtesy of Jason Cairnduff, with thanks.