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Sir Alex Ferguson sung the praises of Wayne Rooney midweek, hailing him as England’s answer to Pelé. Long have the terraces hailed Roo as ‘The White Pelé’, but now he is starting to look every bit the Brazil and Santos legend did back in his heyday. Wazza has already scored 155 goals for The Devils…

For a footballer, there is no greater comparison. Edison ‘Edson’ Arantes Do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time (unless you are of an Argentinean persuasion in which case you world favour a certain Mr. Diego Maradona, and indeed, the debate about the two could rage for hours). United’s Sir Alex Ferguson, never one to dish out praise lightly, has compared Wayne Rooney to the great Brazilian.

In the wake of some scintillating early season performances, the manager said: “There have been British players over the last few years, maybe for the last decades, who have similar great qualities that make them great players, whether it’s a Paul Gascoigne, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law. The similarities are that the boy has great courage, wants to play all the time and has incredible stamina. These are added extras to the talent he has.”

“In terms of a Brazilian, you’d say Pelé. He was a very aggressive attacker also who could look after himself, so can Rooney.” The fact that Ferguson is making such comparisons suggests he has faith in Rooney’s maturity to handle such praise the right way, not allowing it to go to his head. For a player who has carried the wonderkid tag from the age of 16, I suppose he should be used to it by now. He hit 34 goals for United in the 2009/10 season.

In that semester – his best yet – he all but carried the club to the title. He began the new season as favourite in the Premiership top scorer betting. But the damaging World Cup and the energy-sapping effect it had weakened Rooney’s game last year – like so many England players who were on duty in South Africa. He still hit 16 goals as United claimed a record 19th title, but for a player who has such high standard it was considered disappointing.

But following a clear summer, a refreshed and reinvigorated Rooney has started the season on fire. Ten goals in six games has seen United storm to the top of the table and rightly put Rooney at the summit of the top scorer betting stakes once more. The Reds began their Champions League campaign away at Benfica on Wednesday with their manager, appropriately named Jorge Jesus, offering similarly god-like comparisons to the striker.

“Rooney is the best British player, but doesn’t seem like a British player. He’s like an Argentinian or Brazilian. He can decide the match in the final third and so we have to pay special attention to him.” The crux will be sustaining it throughout a long, hard and gruelling season. Injuries and fatigue have prevented Rooney from scoring even more goals in the recent past, as the Premier League has done to so many players over the decades. 

If though, Rooney can stay fit and Ferguson can manage his fitness, then he can approach next year’s European Championships with confidence. It is that opportunity to prove himself on the biggest international stage – on the back of a fruitful season with his club – that will prove whether the Pelé comparisons are justified.

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Thu, 15 Sep 2011 8:32:43 pm

If he stays at utd for life, then he cud maybe get near pele’s. P.s if roo is pele, what the hell does that make Giggs(the golden cock!)



Thu, 15 Sep 2011 10:52:58 pm

Rooney shoudnt be tagged as ny1else bu Rooney , hes 2 good 2 b tagged sum1else , ppl should b tagged as a Rooney bu no1 will ever b as good as dat 2 b tagged nytin lik Rooney 🙂



Fri, 16 Sep 2011 9:15:00 am

Wayne Rooney is a legend! I love watching his play, but just needs to try and stay out of the media spotlight, that can only affect his performances



Fri, 16 Sep 2011 3:43:24 pm

even the best of amn utd fans know that pele is better than rooney

if rooney works hard enough and stays at the best club he can surpass maradonna not pele

he can be a role model for british players



Fri, 16 Sep 2011 9:13:31 pm

Rooney is one of the best footballer in world and for Manchester United. But I can’t see England getting best of him as long as crap players like Terry, Lampard and Gerrard are in the team. Team needs good players and players blessed with luck who wins trophy. All knows how many winners medal this players got compare to Rooney.
Red Devil rules…..


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