Football News

Antonio Cassano: Cristiano Ronaldo is not among top five greatest players of all-time

By Ben Green

Published: 11:23, 21 October 2021

Italy legend and former Real Madrid forward Antonio Cassano says he wouldn’t put Cristiano Ronaldo in the top five greatest players of all-time.

Ronaldo, 36, is football’s most prolific scorer at international level, netting a record 115 goals for Portugal, has five Ballon d’Ors to his name, four European Golden Shoes (a record for European players), while he has also made the most appearances (178), scored the most goals (136) and provided the most assists (42) in Champions League history.

And yet, Cassano does not believe CR7 would make up the top five greatest players to have ever laced up their boots, ranking Pele, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Johan Cruyff and Brazilian immortal Ronaldo Nazario (O Fenomeno) ahead of him.

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The Italian’s assessment comes after Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, suggested his client is the best footballer to have ever played the game following his inclusion in this year’s 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, which the Portuguese hasn’t claimed since 2017.

“Enough theatre (from Jorge Mendes),” Cassano told Christian Vieri’s Twitch channel Bobo TV. “Is Cristiano Ronaldo the best in the history of football? He is not even in the top five.

“Messi, Pele, Maradona, Cruyff and Ronaldo are on another level.”

This is not the first time Cassano has thrown shade at the Manchester United sensation, previously labelling him a “selfish” player earlier this year, and suggesting he “does not live for the game”, but simply for improving his individual goalscoring record.

“Cristiano only thinks about his goals and records,” Cassano commented back in March. “He’s always been a bit selfish, he doesn’t give a damn about others scoring goals.

“He does not live for the game – he lives for the goal and in this moment the situation is getting worse. I think Cristiano has done terribly over the last three years.”

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