Ex-Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo revealed the toughest opponent he’s faced
Cristiano Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time; the former Man United forward has garnered over 750 goals since his career debut in 2002. The Portuguese maestro famously transferred to Man United after impressing in a friendly game against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Following his debut for the club in 2003, the prolific talisman went from strength to strength under Fergie’s watchful eye culminating in the club’s treble and his first Balon d’Or in 2008.
Over his seven-year spell at Old Trafford, Ronaldo had the displeasure of facing off against some of the world’s best defenders, but there was one man who was a persistent thorn in Ronnie’s side.
In an interview with El Chiringuito TV back in 2018, Ronaldo revealed that three-time Premier League winner Ashley Cole was by far and away the toughest opponent he’s played against.
The statement is all the more amazing considering the ex-Real Madrid man has fought battles against Nemanja Vidic, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand among others.
Despite this, Cristiano had no qualms about naming the ex-Chelsea and Arsenal defender as his biggest adversary. This isn’t the first time Ronaldo has praised Cole; he did the same in an interview with Coach Magazine in 2016.
“Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole, he does not give you a second to breathe,” he said
“He was such a tenacious player when he was at his peak, quick, tough in the tackle. You knew it would never be an easy game.”
Funnily enough, the feeling isn’t mutual as Cole believes that Lionel Messi was the toughest player he’s faced off against.
The fullback appeared on Sky Sports a few weeks ago and was asked which of the two G.O.A.T candidates did he struggle to play against?
Cole was rather quick with his reply.
“It has to be Messi,” he said on Sky Sports.
“People talk about Ronaldo more because I played against him more. But I think to mark Messi, on his day… he was just too good for me.
“But, again, he’s never scored [against me],” he cheekily added.