Take a bow CR7!

JOHANNESBURG - Is Cristiano Ronaldo among the best ever?The debate on who is the greatest footballer of all time reared its ‘‘ugly head’’ again this week during the Uefa Champions League games.

For some time now, the debate on who is the greatest footballer of all time has raged on and that talk is stoked whenever there are big matches.

So far, no one has ever managed to tell exactly who should be considered the best player of all time though three players always dominate this talk.

These are Pele, and the Argentinean duo of Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Here and there, the name of Portuguese mercurial striker Cristiano Ronaldo is thrown in the mix; and I think rightly so.

Former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy set the cat among the pigeons this week when he argued on SuperSport that as far as he was concerned, Ronaldo was the most complete player of all time.

This was after the striker had single-handedly destroyed Bayern Munich in the two-legged quarter-finals; scoring two goals in Munich and a scintillating hat-trick in Madrid; though others insist two of his goals in Madrid should not have stood.

For some time now, pundits have run out of superlatives to describe Ronaldo’s consistency and goal-scoring prowess.

After the Bayern Munich massacre, more and more analysts revisited the issue of a player who is hero-worshipped around the world and idolised in Portugal as the semi-god.

Those who witnessed his one man show this week described him as mentally sharp, with good vision and positioning, often predicting certain plays. Here is one player who possesses quick reactions, is an opportunist in front of goals, has unbelievable balance and agility and with an eye on goal.

Although right-footed, he is also able to control the ball, cross, and finish well with his left foot.

His flair in beating players in one-on-one situations is simply too perfect and second to none.

He can finish well from short as well as long distances, often with precise power.

His height, strength, jumping ability and heading technique have given him an edge in winning aerial challenges, with many of his goals often being headers.

Despite all this, he is one player who spends the entire season playing week in, week out and rarely gets subbed.

His pace and power is second to none as McCarthy said this one; here is one player who justifies the word complete player.

Ronaldo is rightly the best of the best and Real Madrid are pondering how life will be without their mercurial striker.

At 32, Ronaldo is getting towards the twilight of his career and the club is starting to manage his heavy schedule on and off the pitch.

Debate might rage on whether the Real Madrid star should be placed in the same mould as Pele, Maradona and Messi but those who watched him in the past few days would want to admit now he is a rare breed in the field of play.

For a single player to change the course of play and influence results week in week out on his own is something to marvel at. Those who hate Barcelona and support Real Madrid will swear that Ronaldo is probably equal or even better to Messi.

But that is one debate no one will win.

One thing for sure is that the Portuguese ranks among the best players ever to grace this great sport. Take a bow CR7!

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.