Rooney has come in for criticism at the World Cup as he has struggled to live up to his pre-tournament billing as one of the potential stars of the summer, but Messi says he would be delighted to play alongside the England striker at Camp Nou.
"It would be a dream to play with Rooney if Manchester United ever came to the point where they needed to sell him," Messi said in the Daily Star Sunday. "I would personally go to the Barcelona president and ask that he be signed myself.
"There are always a handful of players in the world at any one time who can go down in the footballing history books. At the moment, there are maybe (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Rooney, Xavi and one or two more - but I can't think of one that plays with the desire of Rooney.
"We all know football players at the top level are blessed with high wages, it's no secret, but Rooney would play for €100-a-week. You can see the fire in his eyes. It's that fire which makes him the best of the best."