Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has thrown his weight behind Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo as the Premier League's ultimate "baller." The Englishman named Matt Le Tissier and Gianfranco Zola as the two best after the Manchester United star.
Ronaldo was known for flashy skill moves, especially step-overs, during his first stint at Manchester United. However, he has since replaced that aspect of his game with ruthless goalscoring ability.
The Portuguese returned to Manchester United this summer, 12 years after leaving the club for Real Madrid.
While speaking on the BBC Match of the Day's Top 10 podcast, Shearer was asked to name his top 10 "ballers" -- players who are known for their tricks and flair -- in the Premier League. The Newcastle United legend was quick to take Cristiano Ronaldo's name.
"He did have too much sauce when he was at Manchester United the first time – too many flicks and tricks and he wouldn't cross it when he should've done. But you have to have Ronaldo at number one," Shearer said.
"Cristiano Ronaldo to score 20 goals for Manchester United" - Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo's career in last week's BBC Match of the Day's Top 10 podcast as well. The former English striker heaped praise on the Manchester United star, saying it's "ridiculous" how he continues to score goals at such a rate.
"When you look at his career, and particularly his career at Manchester United, he started there, started very raw but unbelievable talent and you could see that from the beginning. And where he's got to… him and Messi have taken goal scoring to another level. It was ridiculous the number of goals these guys [have scored]."
When quizzed about the number of goals Ronaldo would score this season, Shearer added:
"I think I'm right in saying the last time he failed to score 20 or more league goals in a season was the season he left Manchester United in 2009. You're pretty much guaranteed I would say 20 league goals."
Ronaldo has three goals in four appearances so far this season in the Premier League. He scored a hat trick for Portugal in their World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg on Tuesday and will look to take that momentum into Manchester United's trip to Leicester City at the weekend.