Berbatov hails Rooney as 'the best in the world'
Published 23:00 14/03/10 By David Anderson
Wayne Rooney was last night hailed as the world's best player after scoring twice to fire Manchester United back top.
Dimitar Berbatov claims no-one is playing better than the United and England star and his double took him to 32 for the season.
"I think at the moment he's the best," said Berbatov, who scored United's third. "And he is still so young so he has plenty of chances to get even greater. Like I've told him many times, just stay healthy and you can achieve everything.
"I think Wayne can certainly get over 40 goals. He still has plenty of games left so I wish him luck and we will all help him get over the 40 mark."
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Rooney can match Cristiano Ronaldo's 42 goals from two seasons ago and feels he should be nailed on for the Player of the Year.
"I think he's a certainty," said the United manager. "You can't ignore his form and I think he has a great chance of winning both the players' award and the football writers' prize.
"I said a while ago it's impossible for a player to get 42 in the present day, but he's on 32, what can I say? It's a challenge for him and he is capable of scoring in the next eight league games and possibly five European games.
"He's got 13 games possibly and you never know. I won't put it beyond him, but I'm just happy he got over the 30 mark."
Rooney claims he's not bothered about matching Ronaldo's 42 goals, saying: "It wouldn't mean a lot to me and it's not something I've looked at.
"It's nice to score goals and I want to score goals in every game, but what Cristiano achieved is unbelievable. But I'm a different person and a different player so I'm not comparing myself to him."
United are two points clear and Fergie feels Arsenal could be a bigger threat than Chelsea.
"Right now it's looking like the tightest race in the Premier League," he said. "It's going to be a hard-fought tussle with Arsenal coming strongly now and I have a suspicion that they might yet mount the biggest challenge."