Lampard hails United rival

The 31-year-old says Rooney is a bigger talent than his former Chelsea team-mate Gianfranco Zola.

“Wazza is the best,” he said in the Daily Mail.

“When he exploded onto the England scene at 17 and played at Euro 2004 with me, I’d never seen anything like him for his power and all the other attributes he has that stand out.

“As a midfielder, as soon as I get on the ball, I want to play it in behind the other team’s midfield or defence.

“I need someone to be ahead of that action, already getting into a good position.

“As you learn to play with Wayne, you realise that his awareness is exceptional. It’s his key strength – his game awareness.

“Franco Zola is top-class – as a player, a man and evidently, too, as a coach.

“He is still way up there, but the football Wayne is producing for England makes him a very, very special player.”