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Wayne Rooney affirms his belief from 2012 that Lionel Messi is 'the greatest player of all time'

Wayne Rooney has doubled down on his claims from 10 years ago that Lionel Messi is the 'greatest player of all time' after his impressive display for Argentina in their 3-0 World Cup semi-final victory over Croatia.

Messi scored from the penalty spot to open the scoring before later providing an assist for Julian Alvarez to help send his country into the World Cup final.

Rooney took to social media after the game and referenced a tweet he posted back in 2012, in which he said: 'Messi is a joke. For me the best ever.

Wayne Rooney affirms his belief from 2012 that Lionel Messi is

England's joint all-time leading scorer made the tweet on March 7, 2012, on a day when Messi scored five goals for Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in a Champions League round-of-16 clash. 

As reported last month, Rooney backed Messi to lead Argentina to glory in an interview with The Times.

He said: 'Winning the Copa America last year will have given them confidence and has taken a bit of pressure off them. The climate will suit them too. The only thing they are missing is a No 9, that focal point in attack, but I think they will be really dangerous.'

When asked whether a World Cup trophy would cement Messi as the best of all time, Rooney replied: 'Everyone has different views on Messi and Ronaldo but I have said many times that I think Messi is the best.

'I have watched lots of videos of Diego Maradona, who was a similar player, but Messi is better. He has everything — the way he controls games, his dribbling, his assists — whereas Ronaldo is more of a goalscorer.'

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