London, Sep 30 (ANI): Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged his ace striker Wayne Rooney to follow Cristiano Ronaldo and become best player in the world by winning this season's World Player of the Year trophy.
Ronaldo picked up the 2008-2009 accolade before departing Old Trafford to join Real Madrid.
Ferguson wants Rooney to take the next step in his development and emulate both the Portuguese star and Kaka, who won the award the previous year.
Asked if Rooney can do it, Ferguson said: "Well, that's the challenge there now for every player. There are some great players out there. Kaka, Ronaldo and Messi are the best three at the moment and I think Wayne can get to that level if he keeps making progress."
"He is blessed with certain ingredients only certain great players have. He has that hunger and determination. They want to win every match, every training session. He is blessed with that and that will never change," The Sun quoted Ferguson, as saying.
"You sometimes wonder about the criticism of the money players get paid. But then you look at the amount of effort Wayne puts into his work and he is worth every penny," he added.
Rooney made his spectacular debut for United five years ago, grabbing a hat-trick in a 6-2 Champions League win over Fenerbahce.
Ferguson said: "It was a marvellous start to score a hat-trick on his debut. It was a remarkable feat. But since then his progress as never disappointed us. When we signed him as a kid we thought he would become a really top player and he is going in that irection." (ANI)