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Monday, 18 August 2014 14:31

Cristiano. The Greatest?

ronaldo-goal-celebration-real-madrid.jpgIt’s the question that will be forever debated. Who is the greatest footballer of all time?

Pele? Over 1,000 career goals would suggest so. Maradona? The Goal of the Century certainly backs that up. George Best? Ferenc Puskas? Johan Cruyff? Ronaldo? Zidane? They all have a case.

Of course on the tips of everyone’s tongues at the minute are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese superstar has finally been awarded with his second Ballon d’Or after four years without it, and following another Champions League win – Real Madrid’s tenth – he must surely be considered right up there with the very very best.

He certainly has all the attributes – and much more. The skill of Cruyff. The grace of Zizou. The style of Best. And the finishing of his Brazilian namesake, Ronaldo.

Michael Owen has recently come out and said he’s Real’s best, which would mean better than Zidane and Ronaldo – who scored 83 goals at his time with the Galacticos before turning to being lethal on the green velvet as a PokerStars ambassador.

It’s a little difficult to really decide who is the best of all time. After all, Zidane has a different style to Ronaldo, as does Cruyff to Pele, and throwing the likes of Beckenbauer and Moore in there would confuse matters further, but like a pound-for-pound boxer, you can’t help but think Cristiano has the complete package if there is ever to be a definitive answer.

And it’s almost as though he deserves it. Not discrediting any of the other heroes to grace the beautiful game, but the transformation from wiry, spotty teenager with a few step-overs at Sporting Lisbon, to the genuine powerhouse he is today is simply phenomenal.

ronaldo-then-and-now.jpg

Hard work, dedication, and desire to be the world’s best saw him spend countless hours in the gym, and on the training field, making it hard to think of anything he can’t do.

His dazzling footwork and goalscoring ability that has seen him bang in 252 goals in 246 games for Madrid speak for themselves, but what often goes unnoticed is the fact that he’s one of the best headers of the ball in the game. The pressure on the man is simply unmatchable in today’s game, and the fact that he does this whilst inspiring the players around him pushes the Madeiran right to the very top.

The debate will of course always rumble on as regards to who is the best ever. It’s hard enough deciding between Ronaldo and Messi. But when Sir Alex Ferguson calls you, “the most gifted player I managed”, Zidane calls you “a genius”, and Luis Suarez says you’re a “perfect machine”, you know you’re something really special.

 

Comments (20)
RE: Too bad Portugal got bounced out of the group stage
20 Thursday, 28 August 2014 03:23
Michael Silva/ North Hanover, NJ
If only Portugal's line-up consisted of: Bale, Di Maria, Ozil, Khedira, Varane, Ramos, Kroos, Modric, Rodriguez, Alonso, and oh and lets not forget his Manchester teammates from long ago.
Thoughts
19 Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:16
NJ/USA/SLB
Quote;

"250th Real Madrid appearance for Cristiano Ronaldo last night. Scored his 255th goal. Just think about that for a second.
Retweeted by Tom Kundert"

He's cocky, he's arrogant, he's selfish at times. He trains hard, he plays hard, he's a winner.
Every player he's played with has stated how he's the first at training and last to leave. Forever working on his skills.
Kaka had stated that Cristiano was the first star player that ever approached him and asked for them to work after practice, so they can discuss tendencies. Cristiano wanted to know where Kaka preferred to receive the ball. If he only wouldn't have gotten hurt, it could have been beautiful to watch.
The one think that Cristiano has going against him, is that people test him and see him as a "machine". The guy is impressive to see, when he's standing still, never mind playing.

Comparing greats will always be difficult. And yes, not winning a trophy with the Selecao will hurt him. DeStefano was a tremendous player that gets overlooked due to lack of international silverware, through no fault of his own. Eusebio would be herald even more and probably move to top five or even three, if he would have won the World Cup. Fair? No, but there's has to be some guidelines.

I'm just happy that I have been able to watch such a great player, and I'm extremely proud that he's Portuguese.
List is completed
18 Tuesday, 26 August 2014 08:28
John
What about Darren fletcher? Surely he is amongst the 10 greatest players of all time....
Half Assed Troll
17 Thursday, 21 August 2014 21:01
LHE
Hey guy trolling under all these different accounts youre not fooling anybody and its not gonna work here. Give it a rest and move on to another site.
@ Sempre Vermelho
16 Thursday, 21 August 2014 17:17
Chris/Canada
While I respect your opinion, I think you are looking at things in a very one-sided manner. First of all, Pele, Eusebio and Maradona were as you said, strikers. Ronaldo is a winger so he should get even more credit for what he has been able to do.

Next, you speak of a time when "defenders used to defend". This is the single most uninformed statement I've seen in a long time on this site.

The defending and overall tactics are so advanced today, that technique-only players such as the 3 your championing would struggle to get playing time let alone be " stars".

The coach of today looks to implement a system and he wants players that will fit his system. If you do not conform, forget about starting. I am not saying these players were lesser than Ronaldo, but every star flourishes in his era specifically because of the conditions they play in.

It is as ludicrous to say that Eusebio and Pele would have no problems today as it would be to say Ronaldo would be a star in the '60's or '80's.

All these guys are "the greats" to me. Why bother arguing if one is better than another?
Pele & Eusébio foreve greater than CR
15 Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:46
Sempre Vermelho.wordpress.com London, UK
Lool or hahaha at those who said Pelé or Eusébio would struggle due to 'the sheer athleticism required in today's game'. You just proved yourself as a senseless fool at least when it comes to soccer/football!

Pelé, Maradonna Eusébio will always be the greatest strikers ever in my opinion. But what is unquestionable is their ability as athletes. A Pantera Negra & Pelé were small but strong, fast, & powerful! Even more so than Cristiano, as in their time there was no advanced sport science & soft rules in the game in regards to fouls. Not to mention defenders who could actually defend!
Ronaldo
14 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 18:56
Superbock 9
He certainly has the biggest head !

It got stuck in the tunnel at Old Trafford on several occasions
LOL
13 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:25
Miguel/England
Eusebio would struggle? LOL He had one of the most devastating shots in the history of football, and with a heavier ball and heavier boots, among other things.
LOL
12 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:23
Miguel/England
Moore and George Best? They were exceptional, but Eusébio was even better. Only a british to write this.
CR7
11 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:12
Adamski / UK
I dont think there is much doubt that Cristiano is the best player ever.
If you analyse his ability, skill, pace, finishing, physique, heading, he is unique in that he has everything.
I think players like Pele, Eusebio and the like would struggle in todays game due to the sheer athleticism required.
No Eusébio?
10 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 12:16
Mdot
When it comes to talking about the greatest Portuguese player, I find it odd that the article doesn't say nothing about Eusébio's record as he is in the top 10 best players of all time that Ronaldo hopes to crack one day.

I that note I do find it hard to compare players from different decades such as Eusébio, Pele, Maradona, Best, etc...

The one item that is consistent is that the top players have had successful club careers with awards won for their nation. On that note in addition to scoring over 500 goals more over Ronaldo, Eusébio still holds the title as the greatest player to lead our national team to its greatest finish.

Once his career is done, I bet that Ronaldo will be one of the greats and I wish him nothing but success. However leaving Eusébio out of the conversation, especially in the year he passed away and how clearly it was shown this year the impact he had on domestic and international football.
Disgrace
9 Tuesday, 19 August 2014 19:54
Miguel/England
It's a disgrace that you don't even mention Eusébio.
LOL
8 Tuesday, 19 August 2014 14:54
Miguel/England
Adam, Ronaldo isn't Portugal's best player and he is Portugal's top scorer because nowadays there are much more games than in Eusébio's era. LOL There are even more countries to socre against. Eusébio only featured in a World Cup but he was considered the best player and the top scorer. Ronaldo has featured in 3 World Cups and 3 Euros, so he played in much more games than Eusébio whith much less impact than Eusébio. Because of this he played in much more games than Eusébio. Heck, there are even much more friendlies today.
pfff
7 Tuesday, 19 August 2014 14:39
andrew/ny
Michael Silva = idiot
@ all of you
6 Tuesday, 19 August 2014 11:40
Michael Silva/ North Hanover, NJ
Miroslav Klose = results

Ronaldo = hype + hot girlfriend
World Cups and Euro Cups?
5 Tuesday, 19 August 2014 05:03
Adam/Canada
People will always use this as a weapon against Ronaldo. The reality is though that World Cup and Euro Cup success is massively overrated and a player should be judged over an entire season. For the past 7 seasons straight Ronaldo (and Messi) have consistently been the world's best players in La Liga, EPL, and the Champions League: THE most difficult tournament in the world to win (not to mention domestic tournaments).

The fact that a player does well in a World Cup is meaningless. It is a short tournament that occurs every four years. You can be lucky to play for a country with a strong squad, and lucky to be fit/uninjured, and lucky to be called up. Miroslav Klose is the World Cup all-time top scorer and won the World Cup in 2014, was runner-up in 2002, and runner-up in the 2008 Euro...so is Klose now the best player of all time? Is he even among the top 20 of all time? Top 50? OF COURSE NOT.

If you want to judge Ronaldo's international success, simply ask, "who is Portugal's best player?", "who is Portugal's top scorer?", and that will answer all you need to know.
He isn't even the best portuguese player ever
4 Tuesday, 19 August 2014 00:16
(Miguel(England))
He isn't even the best portuguese player ever, Eusébio is.
Re: Reinaldo
3 Monday, 18 August 2014 19:53
Miguel Silva/ South Hanover, NJ
Reinaldo is just good in space! He was amazing in Star Wars and the Star Trek movies but take him out of those and he has NOTHING!

There are at least 80 million Germans better than him. We all know they're the superior race, so really, Reinaldo has nothing to offer unless he's on a spaceship and playing in a different galaxy than those 80 million Deutsch bags.

The first 5 feet and four inches of Reinaldo are definitely second fiddle to Messi, but the other 6 inches of height are definitely better.
RE: Ronaldo?
2 Monday, 18 August 2014 18:34
Michael Silva/ North Hanover, NJ
How many Euros and World Cups has he won? He is great in space, but what else can he do? His game is based on his acceleration which is fine when he has the world's most expensive supporting cast, but for Portugal... can't say he's unstoppable. It seemed like there were ten Germans last World Cup equal to his quality. Maybe he's twelfth best behind Messi.
Subjective and there will never be a definitive answer
1 Monday, 18 August 2014 16:55
Chris(Canada)
The issue I have (and this is a well written article), is that I find it ridiculous to even have this discussion in a team sport. Note how there are no defenders or goalkeepers automatically mentioned in this list?

Yet who can deny the greatness of Buffon or Schmeichel? How can one not marvel at the ability and timing of a Maldini or the grit of a Baresi?

It's easy to get caught up in the hype of who is best, but there are certain players that are not technically the best yet without them the team is not the same. Think of Jorge Costa or Joao Pinto (the original) for Porto. Or Steven Gerrard for Liverpool.

Should these men not be considered amongst the best? I think these discussions are nothing more than speculation. For example, everyone loves Pele and I was never that impressed. Was he great? Undoubtedly. Was he the greatest player ever? He wasn't even the greatest Brazilian in my opinion.

For me Socrates was the best. I remember seeing him as a child and thinking he had eyes on the back of his head. He was a huge 6'4 and moved with the grace of a ballerina. The way he read the game was unmatched. The only one to come close to him was Deco. Yet because he wasn't a prolific goalscorer, he was less recognised.

Of Pele's supposedly 1000+ goals, those he scored for his military team and pick up games are also counted. This is a joke! Again, he was great but how no one talks of how FIFA has padded his record is beyond me.

So, this is all subjective. Ask any Benfiquista and they'll tell you Eusebio was the best. Any German will tell you Beckenbauer was the best. Any Frenchman will tell you Zidane was the greatest. Ask Michel Platini and he'll tell you he's the best.

We should all just appreciate how good all of these people were (minus Platini, he's a massive tool), and enjoy that we get to see Ronaldo, Messi, Ribery, Robben, and others all in one generation.

Cheers.

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