Cristiano Ronaldo is not as fearsome as his Brazilian namesake, says former Manchester United teammate Mikael Silvestre, with the Portuguese considered to have “three or four tricks” while R9 was “something different”.
Ex-France international Silvestre played alongside both of the Ronaldos during his distinguished career, with a spell at Serie A giants Inter preceding a switch to Old Trafford.
In his eyes, a legendary World Cup-winning South American from the past tops a five-time Ballon d’Or winner of the present. Silvestre told United’s official website of Ronaldo, who starred in Europe for Barcelona, Inter and Real Madrid: “He was unstoppable.
You called him ‘El Fenomeno’ then. I played against [Lionel] Messi and I played with Cristiano at Manchester United, but he [Ronaldo] is something else in terms of speed.”
He added: “Everything is top level [with Ronaldo].
“Cristiano, maybe you can guess that he has three or four tricks he would use most of the time, but Ronnie, it was always something different.
“He was inventing things on the spot, so you can’t guide him left or right because he’s going to get out of these situations, no matter what.
“He could score from any type of position. He was playing on one leg at some points and was still beating defenders all over Europe.”
Ronaldo hit 352 goals over the course of 518 outings at club level, while adding a further 62 in 98 appearances for Brazil.
Those figures have been comfortably surpassed by a man currently turning out for Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo has found the target 626 times through 838 games for Sporting, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juve. He is also just one away from reaching a century for Portugal.
Those efforts, which can only be contested by Barcelona talisman Messi in the modern era, have cemented a standing as an all-time great.A man affectionately known as CR7 did, however, start out as a tricky winger before being transformed into a fearsome frontman.
In contrast, R9 was always about end product and Silvestre is not the first to suggest that an iconic figure who suffered a number of unfortunate injuries can be considered to sit at the very top of the pile when it comes to striking talent carrying the Ronaldo moniker.