Former Real Madrid forward Antonio Cassano has suggested that there are five players in history who are “on another level” to Cristiano Ronaldo.
For most of his career, the 36-year-old has consistently been seen as one of the best players in the world.
Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or in 2008 during his first spell at Man United. He won the award four more times between 2013 and 2017 while he was with Real Madrid.
The forward is also a five-time winner of the Champions League and he won the European Championships with Portugal in 2016.
He has now returned to Man Utd and he has scored five times from his seven outings this term.
As reported by the Daily Star, Cassano – who played for Madrid between 2006 and 2008 – has named five better players than Ronaldo:
“Enough theatre. Is Cristiano Ronaldo the best in the history of football? He is not even in the top five.
“For me, [Lionel] Messi, Pele, [Diego] Maradona, [Johan] Cruyff, and Ronaldo [Nazario] are on another level.”
Earlier this year, Cassano told Corriere dello Sport that Ronaldo was a “failure” at Juventus:
“Juventus signed him to win the Champions League, but they’ve done worse with him than they’ve done before.
“They’d also won the Scudetto [Serie A title] without him. I think he’s been a failure.”
“I’ve had my issues with Paul Pogba in midfield. I’ve had my issues with Paul Pogba generally and his agent over the last two years. Honestly, it’s like having a windscreen where you’ve got six cracks in it and you have to change it anyway, but you think the crack that is Paul Pogba is the one you should focus on.
“I don’t think this is a Paul Pogba problem. The reason I say that is that on Saturday I watched Ronaldo and Fernandes up front, nothing. I saw them flailing their arms a few times at a couple of their team-mates which I didn’t like. That needs to stop!
“I saw wide players with no intensity in their pressing. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can’t go back to [Scott] McTominay and Fred and he can’t go back to Matic and Fred because the reality is we know what that delivers. It won’t deliver Manchester United success and Solskjaer has brought all these talented players in.
“Pep Guardiola plays with David Silva, [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Leroy] Sane, [Sergio] Aguero and [Raheem] Sterling which is five attacking players. What Solskjaer needs to somehow try and prove is that he as a top manager and his development as a coach this season can get top players to work as hard as the other top players in the league.”