Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic has criticised Wayne Rooney’s work ethic in comparison to Cristiano Ronaldo.
The former teammates helped shape a new era at Old Trafford with Rooney joining from Everton in 2004, a year after Ronaldo’s arrival from Sporting CP.
At the time, Rooney was seen as the greater talent following his impressive performances for England at Euro 2004, although Ronaldo had also enjoyed a breakout tournament with Portugal.
Rooney’s United career ended in 2017 and he retired three years later after spells with Everton, D.C. United and Derby. Ronaldo, on the other hand, won four more Champions League titles after leaving United and won several more Ballon d’Or awards too after his first came in 2008.
Despite Rooney’s successes, Vidic believes the former teen prodigy failed to match Ronaldo’s work ethic, which was crucial in his development.
“You see Cristiano on Instagram, it’s all flashy stuff, but he deserves it. At his age, 18, 19, to 21 to have that mentality to work hard, not go out, fight for your dream, the way he did it he deserves everything he got,” Vidic told Rio Ferdinand’s FIVE YouTube channel.
“For me, Wayne Rooney, he failed in terms of that. He is the one I think, if he was closer in mentality as Cristiano Ronaldo he can achieve much more. Definitely, that is my feeling.
“Physically he was amazing, technically as well. He is a great teammate on the pitch, him and Carlos Tevez, as a defender you want them on the pitch, they worked hard for the team.
“In one moment they are similar, the same. What brought Cristiano Ronaldo much higher was his mentality to change, to work hard, to improve, to have goals.
“I’m not saying Wayne didn’t have a mentality, but he played pure on his talent. He didn’t invest in his body, invest in extra training, the physical side.”