#4 Dedication and desire being the best
There is no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is neither the most naturally gifted nor most technically proficient player, a lot of his peers in his generation can comfortably beat him to that criteria.
However, what nobody can deny is that Ronaldo's drive and self-belief is miles ahead of anyone else possibly in the history of football, as the Portuguese had set a goal for himself to be the best in the world right from a tender age, working his socks off to see his dreams become a reality.
Not only has his dream of being the best player in the world has come to pass, but they have also been surpassed, as Ronaldo is right up there amongst the greatest in history.
Numerous teammates and coaches have attested to the Portuguese skipper's incredible dedication and hard work, with all bar none placing him at the top of lists of teammates who are the most dedicated in training.
There are a plethora of instances and stories highlighting his work ethic and even his most ardent critic has to be in awe of him and use him as a reference point for dedication and perseverance.
Perhaps the best illustration of this came in his rivalry with Lionel Messi. Once upon a time, Lionel Messi was the darling of football, winning four consecutive Ballon d'Ors and was seemingly the favourite of everyone including FIFA and UEFA at the time much to the chagrin of Ronaldo and his fans.
With the world seemingly on the side of his eternal rival, it seemed as though nothing Ronaldo ever did would quite be enough, which would have led the rest of us to call it quits and accept our fate as second fiddle.
However, Ronaldo is not quite like the rest of us, with it hardwired into his brain never to settle for less when he can have it all. As a result, he kept on working hard and some more and not only equalled a once seemingly insurmountable 4-1 lead, but also appears to be in a position to take the lead in the personal battle with the Argentinian hitman.
It has been an age-long argument over which is more important between talent and hard work, but with Cristiano Ronaldo being an embodiment of the maxim that hard work beats talent, it is not far-reaching to suggest that he is the greatest athlete in history by virtue of his drive to outperform much more talented individuals through dedication.