Cristiano Ronaldo has been labelled as only having ‘four tricks’ by a former teammate – who also claims he is no match for Ronaldo Nazario
Mikael Silvestre spent five years alongside ‘CR7’ at Manchester United before he departed the club in 2008.
The French defender spent a sole season with Nazario at Inter Milan, but there’s no doubt in his mind who the better player is.
Speaking on MUTV’s Group Chat, the 42-year-old explained: “He [Nazario] 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.”
Both Ronaldo’s went on to become Real Madrid legends in their careers, as well as achieving international glory with Portugal and Brazil respectively.
“Everything is top level [with Ronaldo],” Silvestre added. “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.”
Nazario was one of the world’s greatest young players until he suffered a string of horrific knee injuries.
Despite the injuries that forced him to miss up to years worth of action, he still managed to win a slew of trophies in his prime including the 2002 World Cup as well as the Ballon d’Or later that year.
The fact that his career is still looked on as unfulfilled potential proves the amount of talent he truly had.
He sat down with Sky Sports Italia last year and was asked the question of who in football excites him the most, with Ronaldo and longtime rival Lionel Messi being the two standouts.
“Messi excites me, he began. “He makes me dream, he makes me enjoy. He is a very special player. He does things that nobody expects. With him on the pitch there is always a surprise. He has a ball control that few do today.
“Bring the ball forward with speed and so close to the foot, knowing how to protect it so well and shooting on goal as he knows how to do it, I like it too. Cristiano Ronaldo cannot exclude and forget. Another special player with a lot of quality and incredible strength. They are the two players that make me dream.
He was also asked to settle who is the ‘real Ronaldo’, but he offered a classy response.
“This is a joke that shouldn’t bother either of us. Because when they tell me I am very proud and I’m sure he is too. Let’s say that we are both the real Ronaldo!”