Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two superstars that have dominated the world of football. This duo has remained in the ‘Greatest of All Time’ debate for more than a decade. They have reached the pinnacle of football in terms of records, trophies, achievements, competitiveness, and stardom, making them global icons.
Ronaldo and Messi have been a source of inspiration to millions around the globe, and the debate over who is better among them is never-ending. However, according to the Al-Nassr star Cristiano Ronaldo, another Real Madrid legend is on par with them in the GOAT debate.
Ronaldo places ex-Real Madrid star in elite company.
The GOAT debate among the fans isn’t going to reach a unanimous consensus, considering legendary figures like Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo Nazario, Ronaldinho, Alfredo Di Stefano, and Zidane had also dominated the game back in their day.
Last year in November, the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo openly acknowledged the brilliance of former Real Madrid French star Zinedine Zidane, placing him on par with himself and Lionel Messi in the elite list.
In an exclusive interview called “Piers Morgan Uncensored” with British broadcaster Piers Morgan, Ronaldo was asked if Lionel Messi was the greatest player he had ever seen, to which he responded, “Probably, yes.”
“Him and Zinedine Zidane probably, that I have played and fought with”, he added further.
On Messi, he said, “Messi is an amazing player, he is magic. As a person, we share the stage of 16 years. Imagine, 16 years we share. So I have a great relationship with him. He’s a guy that I really respect the way he always speaks about me.”
Additionally, from 2015 to 2021, Zinedine Zidane served as the manager at Real Madrid, guiding Los Blancos to an iconic Champions League three-peat triumph, with Ronaldo playing a key role as the talisman.
When did Zidane join Real Madrid as a player?
Zinédine Zidane is a national hero in France for his illustrious career with the French national team and is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time. The French legend as player joined Real Madrid in 2001 from the Italian giants Juventus.
At Santiago Bernabeu, he was part of Los Blancos, Galacticos squad alongside the likes of Luis Figo, David Beckham, Ronaldo Nazario, and Michel Oven. He made 227 appearances and was involved in a total of 117 goal contributions, scoring 49 goals and providing 68 assists.
Zidane achieved remarkable success in his career, winning the Champions League and La Liga titles with Real Madrid, and the Italian league title with Juventus. Furthermore, Zidane lifted the World Cup in 1998 in their home and Euro in 2000 with the French national team.
In recognition of his exceptional talent, Zidane was honored with the prestigious Ballon d’Or award in 1998, following a heartbreaking loss against Italy and an infamous headbutt to Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final. Subsequently, the midfielder announced his retirement from the sport.