Roy Keane: Cristiano Ronaldo is the most intelligent footballer I have ever seen

Cristiano Ronaldo Keane

“The cleverest player ever.”

Roy Keane has described Cristiano Ronaldo as the “most intelligent” footballer he has seen.

Keane and Ronaldo were teammates for Manchester United between 2003 and 2005, when the Irishman was coming towards the end of his career and Ronaldo was starting out.

Roy Keane: Cristiano Ronaldo is the most intelligent footballer I have ever seen.

Keane said that he knew from the early days of Ronaldo’s career that the Portuguese forward was destined to be one of the world’s best players.

All these years later, and Ronaldo is still operating at the highest level of the sport.

“The most important part of Ronaldo’s set-up is his brain,” Keane said on ITV before Portugal’s 1-0 defeat to Belgium in the last-16 of Euro 2020.

“He’s the most intelligent player I have seen in my life. Obviously, I’m not going back to the 50s and 60s, but the guy loves scoring goals.

“His intelligence is amazing, how he plays the game, he doesn’t get involved in build-up plays but he’s got that trickery and arrogance which you need from the great players.

“The brain, the intelligence of the man, how he’s done it in different countries, how he’s looked after himself off the pitch as well.

“I can’t praise the man enough, he’s an absolute genius. I love watching him. Just the brain he’s got, the cleverest player ever.”

Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2020.

Ronaldo, 36, exited Euro 2020 on Sunday night as Portugal lost a tight game to Belgium in Seville.

The Juventus forward, however, made his mark on the tournament.

In four games, Ronaldo scored five goals and matched the record of the most goals by a single player in international football (109).

Read next: Roy Keane slams ‘imposter’ Joao Felix after Portugal’s Euro 2020 exit.

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