Indian national football team captain Sunil Chhetri is a big fan of Portuguese ace Cristiano Ronaldo and has heaped big praise on the 35-year-old for his hard work and determination.
Ronaldo is currently second in all-time international goals, eight goals behind Iran's Ali Daei who has a total of 109 goals. On the other hand, Chhetri is joint tenth on the list and is looking to bypass Pele's tally of 77 goals and break into the top 5 list of international goalscorers.
Chhetri complimented Ronaldo for being a complete team man and for testing himself in different teams across different leagues over the years. He told Hindustan Times:
"It's extraordinary and unbelievable. That guy is a monster when it comes to scoring goals. I have been following him, we started our careers at the same time and he has been such an inspiration.
"The best thing I like about him is the way he acclimatized to different teams he has played for. Coming to Manchester United, he was a winger with a lot of tricks, putting in the assists and then at Real Madrid, he became the goalscoring monster he is, less dribbling and getting into the box with one or two touches.
"He has so many attributes, the runs he makes inside the box and he times his headers so well. The fact that he is so good with both his feet completely overshadows how well he is with those deadly headers in the 18-yard box."
Chhetri also lauded the fact that Ronaldo is still the top player for his club and country despite being 35:
"The no. of goals he has scored for both club and country is unparalleled, the competitions he has been a part of and scoring 100 international goals is no mean feat and we all know that. He's 35 and he is still the main guy for his club and country. I learn a lot from his diet and routine, the more I see of him, the harder I work on the training pitch."
Talking about the core reason behind the longevity of Ronaldo's career, Chhetri said:
"Apart from the World Cup, he has won everything and yet he still wakes up everyday with hunger to achieve more and more. It's a testimony of the combination of his experience and hunger. Once you have played the game for so many years, your knowledge presently and the hunger you had when you were 17 is the ideal potion of success."Published 18 Sep 2020, 09:33 IST