Brazilian legend Ronaldo Nazario has snubbed Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo when revealing who the greatest players of all time are.
The former Inter and Real Madrid superstar was discussing a “special group” of some of the finest footballing talent the game has witnessed when he opted against naming the 37-year-old.
Ronaldo has been temporarily exiled from the first-team fold at United after he refused to come off the bench during last week’s 2-0 home win over Tottenham before storming down the tunnel before the full-time whistle had been blown.
It will come as a dent to the United forward’s pride that he wasn’t named in Ronaldo Nazario’s list of the game’s best ever.
Speaking to The Guardian, the former Selecao star explained: “I think there is a very, very special group where you have Diego, Messi, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Pelé, Van Basten, Ronaldinho.
“I would include myself. Let the fans say, let them debate it in the bars. But you can’t rank them, can’t compare generations.”
Ronaldo has an honours list that makes for sensational reading. A two-time LaLiga winner, he also boasts two Ballon d’Ors won in 1997 and 2002 respectively.
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The first of those two moments came while he was only 21 years of age, making him the youngest ever recipient of the award – a record he still holds to date.
His second Ballon d’Or win came in the same year as his second World Cup win, with Ronaldo Nazario lifting the sport’s most coveted trophy in USA 1994 and the 2002 competition held in Japan and South Korea.
Many feel if the Brazilian could have stayed fit throughout his career instead of having it curtailed by persistent knee injuries he could have achieved more.
Jose Mourinho once described Ronaldo Nazario to Corriere dello Sport: “The best football player that I have ever seen on a pitch. I think injuries killed a career that could have been even more incredible.
“But that talent this guy had at 19 years old was something incredible.”