Cristiano Ronaldo’s assertion that he is the best footballer to have ever graced the planet hasn’t gone down well with everyone – particularly not to another man who has designs on that same title.
Diego Maradona, Argentine legend and reknowned England-botherer, has advised Ronaldo to, quote, “stop taking the piss” with statements like that.
In a delightfully sweary interview with AS journalist Marco Ruiz, Maradona states that while Ronaldo would have a claim to to that title, he’s not the only one. He also feels that Real Madrid could be in for an upset in this weekend’s FIFA Club World Cup final against Brazilian side Gremio in the United Arab Emirates:
“Well… bufff. Madrid aren’t playing well. At all. Al Jazira played like Madrid [in the semi-final]. They got on the ball! And for Madrid, each one of their players wanted to score a goal.
“I’d have a wager on Gremio [in the final]. They seem a good team. [They are without Arthur], but I’d still have a little wager on them. Despite that son of a bitch Ronaldo…”
When it was put to him that Ronaldo had called himself the best player in history upon winning his fifth Ballon d’Or last week, Maradona’s answer, while smiling, was blunt.
“Tell him to stop taking the piss.”
When he was asked if Ronaldo was the best ever then what would that make him, Maradona answered:
“That’s why I said stop taking the piss.
For me [on who is the the best ever]… From the little that I saw, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Cruyff… And Messi. Cristiano could be up there too.”
The 1986 World Cup winner did, however, concede that the Real Madrid forward is a “marvellous” player:
“Another of the things that I recognise in Cristiano Ronaldo is that when the team needs him, he’s there. He has that. And eh, listen, after ‘El Flaco’ Cruyff, there weren’t many players who have had that quality.”
The former Barcelona and Napoli talisman has far less time for one of Ronaldo’s Real teammates though…
“Sell Bale, give Bale away.”
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast, we chat to Waterford head coach ahead of his side’s return to the Premier Division, as well as discussing the latest League of Ireland transfer news.