#3 Ruud van Nistelrooy | Ex-Manchester United, Real Madrid
Out of all the players on this list, Ruud van Nistelrooy is the only player to have shared the pitch with Cristiano Ronaldo. The legendary Dutch striker remains one of Manchester United's most devastating centre-forwards in the Premier League era, having accumulated 150 goals in just 219 appearances for the Red Devils.
Van Nistelrooy has a storied past with Cristiano Ronaldo as many former teammates have opened up on the tension between the Dutchman and a young Ronaldo at Old Trafford. However, despite their reported differences on the pitch, Van Nistelrooy didn't allow his verdict on the Leo Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate to be influenced by them.
The former Real Madrid great spent three years alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford. Van Nistelrooy even came out in defence of the Portuguese back in 2012, saying that he really is not as 'arrogant' as he is made out to be. The former Dutch international said;
"I never saw him as an arrogant guy. He was always open to advice and not arrogant at all. He was a great guy in the dressing room."
#2 Kylian Mbappe | Paris Saint-Germain
One of Cristiano Ronaldo's more well-documented fans from the current generation of superstars, Kylian Mbappe idolised the Portuguese from a very early age. The French star is widely tipped to go on and become the best player in the world in the post-Messi/Ronaldo era, and reach the heights that his idol did.
Speaking on who he would choose between Messi and Ronaldo, Mbappe revealed;
"From one year to the next, my choice changes between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, even if I have to admit to picking Ronaldo more often. I loved him when I was younger."
Mbappe has spoken out on his admiration for the Juventus frontman on several occasions. The Frenchman revealed that his first two idols were Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo while growing up.
Back when the 21-year-old broke out as one of Europe's most exciting young talents with AS Monaco, there was a famous picture that went viral on social media. It was of a young Mbappe sitting in his bedroom with images of Cristiano Ronaldo all over his walls.
The World Cup winner is considered to be one of Real Madrid's most high-profile targets, and Los Blancos could soon make a move for him. Should he move to Madrid, he would follow the footsteps of both his idols, and play under the management of one of them.
#1 Pele | Ex-Santos
Widely regarded as the greatest and most storied footballer of all-time, Pele provided what is, perhaps, the most substantial seal of approval of Cristiano Ronaldo's calibre.
Although the former Brazilian international acknowledged the greatness of Leo Messi, Pele revealed that he believes Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world. The former Santos legend noted that the Portuguese's consistency gives him an edge over Messi.
"Today the best player in the world is Cristiano Ronaldo. I think he's the best, because he's more consistent, but you can't forget about [Lionel] Messi, of course, but he's not a striker."
Pele is a record three-time FIFA World Cup winner and is one of the highest-ever goalscorers in football history.