Mauricio Pochettino says Wayne Rooney is in the same league as Ronaldo and Messi
Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he rates Wayne Rooney in the same league as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The Southampton manager is currently plotting how to stop the England and Manchester United star, as his side travel to Old Trafford today.
And Pochettino says that Rooney remains one of the world’s top footballers, after seeing him score in both of England’s World Cup qualifying wins in the last week.
The Argentine said: "I was speaking about it with my staff and we were saying he is the type of football player who is able to understand what is needed and what's required of him at every single phase of the game.
"He's a fantastic player that's able to play up front, to drop a bit higher in the pitch.
"He's a fantastic footballer that's able to understand what's required of him in every single phase of the game.”
With England now qualified for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, Pochettino also believes the former Everton man can shine on the world stage alongside the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars Ronaldo and Messi.
"I honestly rate him as high as Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi,” he added.
“I have a great admiration for how he is as a football player.
"I think he's an amazingly talented football player and I rate him as high as those two players."