WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

11/11/2011 09:16

Papers: Pele puts boot in

Stuart Pink writes in the The Sun...


Pele sticks the boot in

When Sir Alex Ferguson dubbed Wayne Rooney "The White Pele", the real deal was flattered but was hardly in agreement. Typical of the attitude that made him the world's greatest footballer, Brazilian legend Pele feels Rooney, 26, has a long way to go before he can be talked about in the same breath as him. Pele, 71, told The Sun on a visit to London: "I am a very big fan of Rooney. He always fights for the team. He is not too technical, his strength is his heart. He's a good player. But you can't really compare him to me. I scored a lot of goals. I don't know if Rooney has." The England striker shouldn't feel too disheartened — just look at what he has to say about Lionel Messi, the most breathtaking star in the game today and a contender to his status as the finest player ever. He said: "I think a 'great' player is defined by their performances at the World Cup. For example, watch Lionel Messi play for Barcelona. He is very good. Exceptional. But for Argentina, he's completely different. Compare him to Zinedine Zidane. He won the World Cup and was at the top for 15 years. He was a more complete player than Messi. Before Zidane there was Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Michel Platini and Bobby Moore. Great players who won World Cups or, in Cruyff and Platini's case, starred in them. Wayne's aggression is a big part of his game - you cannot take that away from him. In my time we didn't have many yellow cards and red cards. Now, the players are very well protected. But a player does have a responsibility to behave himself. It's hard to change the personality of the player but maybe they can adjust."

The Times pick up on the story that Great Britain will open their London 2012 Olympic football campaign at Old Trafford.

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