Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time but Gary Neville and new Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick think differently
Ralf Rangnick believes Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff are the two players who should “definitely” be regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Rangnick’s comments will be a blow to the Portuguese, who many regard as the “GOAT” – the greatest of all time.
“Look, there’s no doubt that Messi’s scored an obscene amount of goals,” said Neville on Sky Sports. “He’s a ridiculous player.
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“Ronaldo’s scored probably 30 or 40 per cent more with his wrong foot and he’s scored more penalties.
“So it just took me to a point where he was more complete in terms of the most important part of the game.
“The thing that tips it over the edge even more is that international record, of the most international goals ever.
“The fact that he’s won five Champions Leagues with teams that aren’t even as good as Messi’s team… Messi’s won more league titles with that Barcelona team.
“But I just feel that the international goal record and the Champions Leagues, aligned with the variety of goals that he scores, even though they’re very similar, takes me to think that he [Ronaldo] is the greatest player of all time.”
Ronaldo made history on Thursday evening, as he reached 800 professional goals for club and country with a brace against Arsenal.
More importantly, though, his double confirmed a 3-2 Premier League victory for United – their first at Old Trafford for nearly three months.
Despite Ronaldo’s long list of records, Rangnick was keen to highlight Maradona’s and Cruyff’s influence when asked who the GOAT is by United’s website.
“I think there are quite a few who would come into consideration but I think definitely Diego Maradona is one of them to name,” said Rangnick.
“Somebody who also influenced my approach as a coach, because I think he was the first modern no10 in football, was Johan Cruyff.
“He also had a big influence, not only as a player, but as a coach later on when he worked for clubs like Ajax or Barcelona.
“I remember when I was 13, 14, playing for the youth team in my home club. I asked my coach if I could play with No.14 [Cruyff’s number].
“At the time, it was completely unnormal because you had numbers from one to 11 and the coach allowed me to play with the reserve-team number 14 on the back of my shirt.
“I would name the two of them but obviously there are quite a few more.
“We have Cristiano here, we have Lionel Messi, we have Robert Lewandowski right now, so it’s difficult to just name one of them.
“I would say Diego and Johan are definitely two who should be named.”