Rooney is on top of the world, says Giggs

United striker should be seen in same class as Messi and Ronaldo, claims veteran

Ryan Giggs believes Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney is edging closer to the select group of players currently regarded the best in the world.

The 24-year-old has just completed a memorable week, which began with his first four-goal haul in the victory over Hull. Rooney then headed home the injury-time goal that secured another Wembley appearance for United at the expense of Manchester City in the Carling Cup, before finally finishing off a sensational second goal in the demolition of title rivals Arsenal at the weekend.

Giggs believes Rooney's form could soon earn him the kind of recognition currently enjoyed by Lionel Messi, Kaka and former Old Trafford team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo. "He is getting nearer that group," Giggs said. "You have seen it for England and for us on the bigger stages. That is what all the top players do. The best thing is that Wayne is still developing. He is 24 now but he is only going to get better. His appetite is strong and he is a great player to have in your team."

Rooney's talent has never been in question since he first burst onto the scene as a raw teenager with Everton, scoring a memorable winner against Arsenal at Goodison Park in 2002. He followed that up by becoming one of England's key men at Euro 2004 before moving on to United, where his talent is set to earn him a lucrative new contract this summer.

It is a different quality Giggs notes. At the level he has operated at for almost two decades, pure ability is almost taken for granted. What Giggs likes about Rooney is his willingness to keep working when events conspire against him.

"Even if he is not playing well he still causes problems for the other team," he said. "That is a very rare quality. Even with players who are genuine match-winners, if they are not playing so well, normally you don't see them.

"But if Wayne is not having the best of games, which is not very often, he never gives up. He believes he is going to create chances. He believes he will get them and he is going to score goals. More often than not, he does."

Sir Alex Ferguson also knows Rooney's importance to his side is growing, with Giggs chiming in with his manager's assessment that the striker has moved his contribution to a different level now he is concentrating on the core aspects of his job.

"Wayne has taken his game to another level," Giggs said. "Everyone knows what Wayne is like. He wants to be involved. He wants to set up the play and finish the moves. Sometimes you cannot do that but he has learnt to be patient. He has developed his game so that now he is a goalscorer as well as joining in with the overall play. I know if I am putting the ball in the box, with his movement and bravery, Wayne is going to get on the end of things. Wayne has worked hard at that part of his game and he has definitely improved."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Written protest: Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, has sent an open letter to the Culture Secretary
books
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Sport
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss