Wednesday, April 24News That Matters

Chiellini names toughest player he ever faced & best goalkeeper in history

Former Italy defender, Giorgio Chiellini, has identified Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the most formidable adversaries he’s squared off against in football.

He has also esteemed Gianluigi Buffon, the venerable Juventus custodian, as the preeminent goalkeeper in the annals of the sport.

“Buffon is the best goalkeeper in the history of football, while, depending on your viewpoint, Cristiano is among the top two, three, four or five in the history of the sport,” Chiellini told FIFA’s official website.

“He is definitely in the pantheon of football greats.”

He added, “The toughest ones I’ve faced are Messi and Ronaldo himself. A lot of people ask me, ‘ Who is better: Messi or Ronaldo?’, a bit like you might with LeBron James and Michael Jordan. I don’t see it as a competition, both are at the top.”

The seasoned defender from Italy shared the pitch with CR7 in Turin over a three-year stretch, from 2018 through 2021.

In that interval, the Portuguese luminary amassed 101 goals and accrued five trophies – with two Serie A championships among them.

When asked to explain what Ronaldo is like to work alongside, Chiellini said: “Cristiano was a very demanding guy, who always wanted to win, and he managed to convey that to everyone. He wanted to score, break all the records and always win, which he continues to do even now.

“That’s Cristiano and he’s exactly as you see him. You can get to know people without experiencing them, but there were so many little things [with him] – like his dedication to small things everyday – that made it a privilege for me to have played with him for three years.”

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