Pele challenges Rooney to perform at highest level

Football legend Pele says Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has to perform on the world stage if he is to prove himself as a world class talent.

The 71-year-old says that excelling at club level and international level are two completely different things and the only way for players like Rooney and Lionel Messi to cement themselves as the greatest ever, they must excel at international level.

Pele told The Sun: “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.”

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