Ravel Morrison has told talkSPORT he was ‘upset’ by Wayne Rooney’s comments about him, admitting his regrets over not fulfilling his incredible potential as a young Manchester United player.
Writing in his column for The Sunday Times, Old Trafford legend Rooney lauded his former teammate’s ability.
The former England captain claimed Morrison was one of the most naturally talented footballers of his age he had ever seen, and was ‘better than Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard by a country mile’.
Ravel Morrison was touted as the next big thing by Sir Alex Ferguson
But he also said the youngster lacked the work ethic, attitude and mentality of other players who made it to the top in a United shirt.
Rio Ferdinand has also praised Ravel Morrison’s ability in the past, previously revealing his conversation with Sir Alex Ferguson in which the legendary boss said the youngster was ‘better than Ryan Giggs at his age’ and was destined for greatness.
However, as everyone knows, Morrison’s career fell apart before it properly started.
Having turned professional on his 17th birthday in 2010, Morrison ended up making just three senior appearances for the Red Devils and left the club in 2012 without playing a Premier League game.
Now, aged 27, he is representing Middlesbrough on loan from parent club Sheffield United, and has managed just two appearances.
In a senior career spanning almost a decade, Morrison has remarkably never played more than 30 games for a single club.
Sheffield United brought Morrison back to the Premier League last summer, but only on a one-year contract
Morrison joined talkSPORT host Jim White on Monday for an honest and open interview and, responding to Rooney’s remarks, he could only, regrettably, agree.
“Obviously they’re amazing comments,” said Morrison, “especially from the player he is; he’s probably one of the best ever to come out of England, if not THE best.
“But it makes you a bit upset as well, because I could have gone a bit further, I should have gone a bit further and I’m still hoping to go further.
“I knew I had ability, but I didn’t realise and understand these players’ thoughts at the time.
“If I could sit down and go back through my life they’d be a lot of things I would change.
“It was an every day thing for me when I was young, growing up at United, it was a nice environment to go into everyday with world-class players, it was enjoyable…
“And I know it’s poor, but because I was there from the under-9s I would skip training some days. I would wake up and I would just skip it, I don’t know why.
Ravel Morrison, who thrived in Manchester United’s youth teams with Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, has frustrated many managers during his career
“It’s hard to get me off the training field now, so if I took my life back to those days I think it would have been a lot better.
“I did lack in a few things and I’ve made mistakes.
“There were some things in my life when I was young that I now definitely would not do, I’d have gone down a different path.”
After leaving his boyhood club, Morrison dropped down to the Championship with West Ham and enjoyed initial success with the Hammers before being loaned out to Birmingham, QPR and Cardiff.
He then left English football for Lazio, but only made eight appearances for the Italian side, spending time back on loan at QPR and with Mexican club Atlas.
A short spell with Ostersund in Sweden came next, before Morrison returned to England with Sheffield United on a free transfer last summer, joining Middlesbrough on loan in January.
Having managed just two Championship appearances for Boro this term, playing four times for the Blades before that, Morrison will be on the lookout for a new club this summer when his one-year deal at Bramall Lane expires.
Ravel Morrison tells talkSPORT: If I could sit back and go through my life again, there would be a lot of things I’d change.
And he insists he’s got a point to prove after returning from his spell in Italy, which he says turned him from a boy into a man.
“I’ve definitely not shown my best ability on the pitch yet,” he said.
“I showed some of what I can do at West Ham and QPR, but other than that I haven’t had a run of games for seasons because I moved to Lazio and I found it difficult there with adapting to the culture.
“But going there made me more of a man; I went from a boy to man there, I moved way from my family and friends so I could go there and concentrate.
“I just love the game, I love playing football and I’ve travelled the world just to play, I’ve gone to Mexico, I’ve gone to Italy, wherever I can play football I will play. I just enjoy playing and training every day.
“I do it for my love of the sport but also to provide for my family, to provide for my mum. She’s had difficult times in her life, so everything I’ve got I give to my mum.”
Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Ravel Morrison IN FULL above