5 football legends who hailed Cristiano Ronaldo including his arch rival Lionel Messi

As the saying goes, ‘greatness recognises greatness’.

Cristiano Ronaldo is truly one of the greats of the game, and numerous players and managers all agree.

With Ronaldo celebrating his 39th birthday on February 6, Sports Brief looked at five football personalities who praised the Portuguese superstar.

Football personalities who praised Cristiano Ronaldo

There is no lack of respect between CR7 and his biggest rival, Lionel Messi.

The duo have been going head-to-head for a few years in a quest to be crowned the greatest player in history. While they are rivals, they have also recognised each other’s greatness.

As noted by The Guardian, the Argentinian talked about how Ronaldo was also scoring.

“He is always there scoring goals in all the games and taking part in his club and national side. He has been doing that for many years, and whether he is at his peak or a bit below, it makes no difference,” Messi said.

Jose Mourinho

The Special One coached the Portuguese superstar at Real Madrid and was impressed with what he saw.

The former Los Blancos manager explained that while he saw the iconic Diego Maradona in action, he felt that Ronaldo was on another level.

Sir Alex Ferguson

Another coach who managed Ronaldo in his prime, Sir Alex Ferguson, played a massive role in shaping him into the player he is.

While Ferguson has worked with many talented stars over the years, he rates CR7 as one of the greatest, Manchester Evening News reported.

“He’s a phenomenal player,” the Reds manager said. “We’ve had some great players at this club in my 20 years, but he’s up with the best of them.”

Zinedine Zidane

The Al-Nassr captain has seemed to have left a lasting impression on managers who coached him before.

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane had the pleasure of working with the Portuguese star at the Spanish side and knew just how talented he was.

The duo won three Champions League trophies together, and Zidane had a short but impactful statement about Ronaldo.

Erling Haaland

CR7 has always been considered a world-class striker, and now Erling Haaland is taking over that tag.

The Manchester City attacker is one of the most lethal goal-scorers on the planet, and talked about how he drew inspiration from the way Ronaldo plays, The Mirror noted.

“How Cristiano moves, and how he has managed to develop his game. You remember when he played in Manchester United and the first years in Real Madrid, to become more of a striker in Real Madrid. It is incredible for him that he manages. But, also how he scores the goals. It is the small movements in the box and being able to deceive the defenders,” he said.

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