Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes the form Wayne Rooney has shown in the last few months have made him one of the best players in the world.
The 24-year-old has already found the net 21 times in Premier League games for United this term and Ferguson hopes he can maintain that form in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg encounter against AC Milan in the San Siro.
He said:"Manchester United builds up heroes very quickly. We're peculiar because the players, like Beckham, who come through the ranks are always viewed as better than those you buy.
"But Rooney is also regarded as that kind of player. Although he came from Everton, the fans will always look at him as one of the players who's grown up with us.
"He's been fantastic this season and, without doubt, his form this season has brought him to the high point of his career.
"World-class is a misused term but, with Rooney, you have to say he is getting to the point where he is now one of the best players in the world.
"Over the last two years there is a maturity about us away from home. There is a distinct change from when we were here last.
"In the last game, the physical part was the real reason for our performance. We had to play against Everton on the Saturday while Milan rested a lot of players meaning they were fresh and prepared and they deserved to win the match.
"We are fresh this time and that can make a difference."