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Hoddle: I'd pick Rooney over Messi

Former England boss Glenn Hoddle says he would pick striker Wayne Rooney above Kaka and Lionel Messi for his team.

• Read Glenn Hoddle's column here

Hoddle, who starred for Monaco in his prime as a player under Arsene Wenger, has penned an exclusive World Cup column for ESPN Soccernet and claimed he would take the Manchester United man above anyone else.

''The question that always intrigues supporters is who is the world's best players, and even the experts are divided,'' he said. ''If you asked me, 'who would I pay money to go to watch on any given day?' I would say Messi. If you asked me, "as a manager who would you want in your team on any given day?' I would say Rooney.

''I think that says a lot. It tells you that Rooney would be more highly rated. Of course you would pay money to watch Kaka when he is in full flow for Brazil, he is awesome, and he now finding his feet with Madrid, while Messi is magnificent with Barca but has had a torrid time lately with Argentina.

''Rooney, though, can affect a game like no other player, although they can affect games in their own way. They are all influential, but Rooney can be more influential in a variety of ways. Rooney gives you everything - even when things are going against you, he can still be the shining light. He's a fighter, a competitor, he never gives up, he can carry a team with that kind of attitude.

''That doesn't mean I am saying he is the best player in the world, not while there are players like Messi, Ronaldo and Kaka but Rooney, he has that je ne sai qua. He is a workhorse, technically gifted, a creator, a finisher, an all-round package, who can play off the shoulder, drop deep and arrive late in the penalty area. He can play on the wing and do a job for the team.''

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