LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho doesn’t believe either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo are the best footballer ever as he picked Brazilian Ronaldo — popularly known as ‘El Fenomeno (The Phenomenon)’ — as the greatest player he witnessed on the football field.
Messi has six Ballon d’Or crowns to his name while Ronaldo has five but Mourinho doesn’t feel either of the two is the greatest ever to grace the ‘beautiful game’.
Mourinho, who was translator at Barcelona under Bobby Robson when Ronaldo scored goals for fun at Camp Nou, stated he has still not seen any other player as talented as Ronaldo. He also claimed that had it not been for injuries, the striker would have achieved much more success.
“Ronaldo, El Fenomeno,” Mourinho told LiveScore when asked about greatest player ever. “Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have had longer careers, they have remained at the top every day for 15 years.
“However, if we are talking strictly about talent and skill, nobody surpasses Ronaldo.
“When he was at Barcelona with Bobby Robson, I realised that he was the best player I’d ever seen take to the field.
“Injuries killed a career that could have been even more incredible, but the talent that that 19-year-old boy had was something incredible,” he added.
Despite his injury concerns, Ronaldo achieved unbelievable success both on the international arena and in club football.
He lifted two World Cup titles with Brazil (1994 and 2002) and achieved a second place finish in 1998. He also won the Copa America twice (1997 and 1999) and was part of the team which won the bronze medal at Atlanta Olympics (1994).
Ronaldo also won numerous titles during his stints with PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter and Real Madrid. He was also awarded the Ballon d’Or twice for his unbelievable performances in 1997 and 2002.