Rooney became England’s all-time greatest goalscorer after netting a late penalty in the Three Lions’ 2-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday night.
The 29-year-old’s 50th international goal saw him surpass Sir Bobby Charlton, who held the record since 1970.
Messi, widely regarded as the best footballer of his generation, led the tributes to the former Everton man.
“Wayne Rooney is for me a once in a generation player. One of those special players, who is not comparable to any other,” Messi is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“There are many special players, but Rooney has exceptional quality and technical ability as well as being one of the strongest players I have faced with an exceptional work rate – there is nobody like him.”
Rooney is expected to play a huge role for England during next year’s European Championships in France despite his current lack of form with Manchester United.
The England skipper had failed to hit the back of the net in United’s opening four games, but has a chance to get his season back on track against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday.
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