Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News reports on the Sky Sports pundit's comments to FourFourTwo magazine, where Neville names his greatest ever Red Devils XI.
The England assistant coach names Rooney in his front two strikers, partnering Cristiano Ronaldo up front—ousting Cantona from proceedings:
I'd put Wayne Rooney up front with Cristiano Ronaldo in my all-time XI of Manchester United players I played with.
Above (Eric) Cantona, (Mark) Hughes, (Dwight) Yorke and (Andy) Cole. All great strikers, but Wayne has got qualities from all of those players. He's those four players wrapped in one.
The 29-year-old England skipper has been at United since he was a teenager and has an exceptional 221 goals from his 452 club appearances, per Luckhurst.
He is well on his way to becoming United and England's all-time top goalscorer—a joint record held by the legendary Bobby Charlton.
Neville went on further to explain why he thinks so highly of the Merseysider, as quoted by Luckhurst:
I see a player showing greater maturity in taking on responsibility, in his manner on the pitch and his manner around people. He understands that people look up to him.
He's entered a new phase in his career. He knows he's not the up-and-coming youngster anymore, or even a player in the middle of his career. He realises that he's got vast experience from travelling a similar journey to David Beckham.
Neville's comments about his former team-mate are unsurprising, especially given the pair's relationship—working side by side under Roy Hodgson at international level.
But Rooney's exploits for United have been exceptional over the years and he deserves much credit for the bulging trophy cabinet he owns, packed with medals galore.
However, Cantona arrived at United during an exciting transitional period—when Sir Alex Ferguson was on the cusp of knocking Liverpool off their perch.
In the early 1990s, United struggled to make the final steps towards the old First Division title, being pipped by bitter cross-Pennines rivals, Leeds United.
Cantona was a part of that famous Leeds team and his signature from the reigning champions was a shock to everyone.
But Le Enfant Terrible and United were a match made in heaven—and the mercurial Frenchman was the catalyst to the Red Devils winning the first edition of the Premier League and all of the success that followed.
Cantona only stayed at Old Trafford for five seasons—deciding to retire at the grand old age of 31 years old.
In his time at the club, he won the league title four times in five attempts and solidified his status as a club great.
When Rooney leaves United in the future, he will undoubtedly be remembered more fondly—more so than many have in the last few years.
His flirtations with rivals of United hurt the fanbase greatly in the past and many have not forgiven him for the acts, per Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail.
But Rooney is certainly up there with the club's greatest servants—whether he is universally popular or not.
His decade at the club has brought much success, but he has played in one of the greatest teams in modern history.
And United journalist Nick Coppack confirmed Rooney's current status, with the player being the most searched-for Premier League player of the past two years:
For United fans who witnessed The King strut his Gallic stuff around a football pitch, many will not draw a direct comparison with Rooney. Eric was the ultimate showman and the Theatre of Dreams was a stage built for him.
Neville played with both men and he is entitled to his opinion. But Cantona will always be the Magnificent Seven in the hearts of a million Reds, and their favourite player for all eternity.