Ruud Van Nistelrooy was a prime figure in his playing days. The former Dutch international donned the Manchester United jersey for a long time and currently works as the manager of Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. And his former colleague Wayne Rooney recently heaped praises on his ex-teammate.
Wayne Rooney and Luis Figo are currently in India as pundits for the World Cup broadcasting show for Viacom18. The football World Cup is being televised through Sports18 in India and online streaming is achievable through the JioCinema app for Indian viewers.
And Viacom18 Sports expert Wayne Rooney named Ruud Van Nistelrooy the best penalty spot-kick taker he has ever seen. 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. Also, the aftermath of that missed penalty captured one of the iconic moments of that era, that spat on the head from Arsenal's Martin Keown on Nistelrooy.
"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.
Former Portugal and Real Madrid player Luis Figo is also one of the pundits in the show and he gave his verdict on the best penalty taker.
"I think Gaizka Mendieta - he was very calm and always hit it really well most of the time," Figo said.
During the VISA Match Centre on Sports18 and JioCinema, the two legends named their choice of free-kick takers.
"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.
Rooney chose Juninho and David Beckham as his all-time favourite free-kick takers.