Goalkeepers couldn't get near Ruud Van Nistelrooy: Wayne Rooney

Nov 25, 2022

London [UK], November 25 : Former England forward Wayne Rooney named Ruud Van Nistelrooy the best penalty spot-kick taker he has ever seen while speaking during Match Centre on Viacom18 Sports' FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 presentation.
He recalled the infamous draw between Arsenal and Manchester United in 2003, where Nistelrooy missed a penalty in the stoppage time. The foul on Nistelrooy, which gave away the penalty, sparked a massive controversy as it gave Arsenal captain Patrick Viera a second booking leading to a red card.
"I'd have to say Ruud Van Nistelrooy, he missed a famous one against Arsenal; there was a bit of commotion after that. But watching him in training, it was incredible how he used to strike his penalties and goalkeepers couldn't get near him," said Rooney.
While Rooney named the Dutch striker as his pick for the best penalty spot-kick taker, former Portugal star Luis Figo called Spaniard Gaizka Mendieta the best spot-kick taker.
"I think Gaizka Mendieta was very calm and always hit it really well most of the time," added Luis Figo.
The former players also revealed their picks for the best free-kick takers to have played the game of football.
Figo chose Serbian Sinisa Mihajlovic and also named Brazillian Roberto Carlos as one of the players with great free-kick skills.
"Sinisa Mihajlovic at Inter Milan or Roberto Carlos - different styles. Not only in games but when we trained in training sessions - their finishing with freekicks was incredible," said Figo.
The former Manchester United striker named Brazilian Juninho Pernambucano and English legend David Beckham as the best free-kick takers.
"I used to like Juninho Pernambucano, he was incredible. David Beckham for me as well," added Rooney.