Gary Neville has been quick to name Wayne Rooney as the best striker he ever played with during his long and successful career at Manchester United.
Rooney recently confirmed his retirement from the game after a trophy-laden career. He will focus all his efforts now on managing relegation-threatened Championship side Derby County.
Reflecting on his long-time teammate’s career on Monday Night Football, Neville had nothing but praise for Rooney.
“For me he was the best centre-forward I ever saw at Manchester United and ever played with,” Neville said.
“I have him number one, up front. Cristiano Ronaldo is alongside him in every single of the best Manchester United teams that I played alongside.
“That’s the highest compliment I can pay him, because I played with [Eric] Cantona, with [Mark] Hughes, with [Dwight] Yorke, [Andy] Cole, [Teddy] Sheringham, [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer, [Dimitar] Berbatov, [Carlos] Tevez. Great strikers from all over the world, not just in England.
“Rooney would be my number one.”
Rooney is etched in history as the record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England.
However, Neville claims there were other facets to his game beyond goalscoring that he made him so outstanding.
“The contribution to the team at all points of every game was unbelievable,” Neville added.
“In and out of possession, in the dressing room, the energy every single morning.
“He was an absolute livewire. He was a street fighter, tough, score goals, assist goals, the best defender, never give in.
“Everything you would want in a footballer he was there. And to me Rooney is the best striker I played with because he did everything.”
Neville unsure of Man Utd title credentials
Neville, meanwhile, has questioned a lack of killer instict that could cost Manchester United a shot at winning the Premier League.
Nevertheless, the 0-0 draw at Anfield extended the Red Devils’ unbeaten run to 12 matches, the league’s best record.
“I think Manchester United ’s chances of winning this league are slim – Liverpool and Man City are still the best two teams in this league,” Neville said.
“But the slim chance they have to win this league will depend on something like Paul Pogba delivering a cameo of two or three months of brilliance, which he is capable of.
“He’s got confidence, he’s got arrogance – good arrogance, in a sense that he believes in himself.
“He thinks he should be playing in the biggest games in the world, and winning titles, and thinking positive thoughts, thinking you’re the best is a big thing when you’re looking to win.”