Manchester United: Wayne Rooney reveals Ravel Morrison was 'miles better' than Paul Pogba
"He was brilliant. He was confident. He nutmegged Nemanja Vidic three times in the space of a minute in one training game. But he struggled with lifestyle and his environment"
Last Updated: 04/05/20 9:10am
Wayne Rooney has revealed Ravel Morrison was better than Paul Pogba "by a country mile" when they were coming through the ranks together at Manchester United.
Morrison was considered to be one of the most exciting talents of his generation, with Sir Alex Ferguson describing him as "the best kid you'll ever see", according to Rio Ferdinand.
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However, he made just three first-team appearances for United before embarking on a peripatetic career that has taken him to the likes of Lazio, Ostersunds and QPR.
Morrison is currently on loan at Middlesbrough after making just four appearances for Sheffield United in the first half of the season, and Rooney says his struggles were down to his attitude.
Writing about their time together at Old Trafford in the Sunday Times, Rooney said: "I remember watching Ravel Morrison thinking he had everything required for a player in his position.
"He was brilliant. He was confident. He nutmegged Nemanja Vidic three times in the space of a minute in one training game.
"But he struggled with lifestyle and his environment, which was sad for him - because I saw Paul Pogba come through, Jesse Lingard, all these players and Ravel was better than any of them by a country mile.
"He's proof that you can't escape the fact there are guidelines every player has to obey in professional football. Some players live right on the edge of them but stick just inside and still succeed.
"Sir Alex Ferguson used to say, the hardest thing in life is to work hard every day. Forget all your ability, strip everything back: if you can work hard every day, in whatever job you do, you'll be successful."
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has urged the club's academy players to keep working through the shutdown so they don't "fall out of love with football" after their season was ended this week.
All games for the U23 competitions and below have been terminated for the rest of the season, with a means of determining final standings still to be announced.
But the 22-year-old Rashford, who has come through the ranks at United, sent a message to academy players telling them to be "creative" as they try to keep improving despite the lockdown.
Manchester United forward Daniel James has revealed team-mate Juan Mata was one of his footballing heroes growing up and says it has been a "surreal" experience playing alongside the Spaniard.
James had only spent one full season playing professional football in the Championship with Swansea before United signed him last summer, suddenly uniting him with one of the players he idolised most as a child.
Asked about his footballing heroes, James said: "Everyone looks up to Lionel Messi, but I think I've got to go for Juan Mata. He's someone that I've always looked up to.