Cristiano Ronaldo has become more than a football player over the years and it is his larger-than-life persona that has made him one of the most recognizable faces on the planet.
The Portuguese forward has earned a place among the all-time greats through his incredible work ethic, consistency, and his skills.
Alongside his long-time adversary Lionel Messi, he has made history on multiple occasions and has achieved every goal-scoring milestone imaginable.
We can on about the greatness he has achieved with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, and the Portugal national team. Though words could never fully capture his contributions towards multiple titles for club and country, he has been showered with high praise by some of the greatest personalities of football throughout his illustrious career.
Here we present to you a compilation of some of the greatest plaudits received by the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to date.
Top 10 quotes about Cristiano Ronaldo:
#10 Rio Ferdinand
It is said that the people who get to work with legends like Cristiano Ronaldo in their formative years are the ones who really know them well. They can even have a lasting effect on shaping their destiny.
One such lucky player who shared the dressing room with Ronaldo in the fledgling stage of his career is former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand. Ferdinand himself, a highly decorated player, believes that Cristiano Ronaldo's consistency and hunger to stay at the top has made him the legend that he is today.
"Great skill gets you so far, but there have been many players like that. Think of Rivaldo, Figo, the Brazilian Ronaldo, Ronaldinho. They were phenomenal, but they were contesting to be the best in the world for only two or three years. Cristiano has been in the discussion every year for a decade."
"He gets 50 goals a season time and again. Having Lionel Messi around at the same time means he’s been pushed to even greater heights. Muhammad Ali needed Joe Frazier, Federer needed Nadal, Larry Bird needed Magic Johnson. You never spoke about one without mentioning the other.”
#9 Virat Kohli
It is not uncommon to see athletes across different sports having respect for one another, as many athletes grew up playing games other than their own and understand what it takes to make it to the top of a professional sport.
Virat Kohli, the No.1 ranked batsmen in ODIs, admires Cristiano Ronaldo for his work ethic and drive.
“I love his (Cristiano Ronaldo) work ethic, drive, passion and ability to deflect all the noise from the outside, He moves ahead and just gets it done."
“Messi is a freak, absolute natural talent, and his ability is second to none. For me, what stands out is the ability or the will to put in the effort in every single minute of the game. Ronaldo’s drive separates him from everyone else. Playing at the top level, everyone has talent, but I don’t think anyone has the will that he has."
#8 George Best
Manchester United has had a lot of iconic players donning their famous Red Jersey over the years and amongst them, the No.7 jersey has a special place.
The jersey has been donned by legends like Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Bryan Robson but was first made famous by Irishman George Best. Coincidentally, Cristiano Ronaldo was the last player who did justice to the jersey during his time at Old Trafford.
To receive praise from someone who has been in your own shoes is one of the best compliments and the legendary George Best had kind words for Cristiano Ronaldo during the Portuguese's time with Manchester United.
“There have been a few players described as the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it’s been a compliment to me.”
#7 Johan Cruyff
Cristiano Ronaldo has earned a lot of praise from a lot of Real Madrid legends over time, thanks to his exploits for the La Liga giants but he has earned the respect of a few professionals associated with their arch-rivals Barcelona as well.
Johan Cruyff is a Barcelona legend, having enjoyed success with the Catalans as a player and a manager. Though Cruyff sided with Lionel Messi when Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid later, he did called him the best player in the history of Manchester United earlier.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United.”
#6 Jose Mourinho
Cristiano Ronaldo had been voted the greatest Portuguese player of all time back in 2015, so it is obvious that he is extremely famous in his homeland. Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers of our time and got the chance to coach his compatriot for three years at Real Madrid.
It was under Mourinho that Ronaldo sharpened his goalscoring prowess and just in their three-year association, Mourinho knew that Ronaldo was a star and heaped some special praise on the Juventus star.
“He is the best, the best in the world, yes. Probably the best ever.
“I saw [Diego] Maradona a couple of times. I never saw Pele. But Cristiano is amazing. This man is the best… Cristiano is a goals machine. He is an incredible player. He is like [Zinedine] Zidane, there will never be another Ronaldo.”
#5 Ronaldo Nazario
Ronaldo, the Brazilian striker, is considered to be one of the greatest No.9s to have stepped on the pitch. Being a world-class striker who has won everything with club and country, Ronaldo Nazario has been crowned with numerous individual accolades and knows a thing or two about being an accomplished finisher. He thinks Cristiano Ronaldo's training regime and desire makes him stand out among his peers.
“I trained because I was made to. He trains because he loves to. There are very few players who take such care of their bodies, have such a fierce desire to improve. He’s unbelievable.”
Cristiano Ronaldo has always drawn comparison to some of the best players in the world and was likened to Portuguese legend Eusebio ever since he burst onto the scene. His speed, technique, athleticism, a gem of a right-foot and his goal-scoring abilities were all reminiscent of the 1965 Ballon d'Or winner.
When talking about a young Ronaldo before his untimely death in 2014, Eusebio, had nothing but praise for the player who would lead Portugal to their first major title in form of the European Championship in 2016.
“He has magic in his boots, the first thing you notice about him is that he is incredibly quick and very, very powerful for such a young man."
“He has great, close control and his technique is excellent. He believes he can do anything with the ball, and that confidence makes him very special indeed.”
#3 Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been at the pinnacle of world football for the last decade and a half. They have shared 11 Ballon d'Ors between them, with Ronaldo winning five times and Messi, six.
Messi has a reserved personality and rarely talks about other players but when asked to describe his old foe in an interview back in 2013, he said that he was impressed by Cristiano Ronaldo's goal-scoring prowess. It is always great to see rivals acknowledging each other.
“(Ronaldo) is always there scoring goals in all the games and taking part in his club and national side. He has been doing that for many years and whether he is at his peak or a bit below it makes no difference.”
#2 Zinedine Zidane
Players like Cristiano Ronaldo are a blessing for their managers as they possess the ability to turn the match on its head single-handedly. One of the managers that worked really well with Cristiano Ronaldo over the years was Zinedine Zidane.
The Real Madrid manager led them to three successive Champions League titles, a La Liga and two FIFA Club World Cups in a two-and-a-half-year stint, with Cristiano Ronaldo as the focal point.
The 35-year-old picked up two back-to-back Ballon d'Ors under the legendary Frenchman. Zidane had a funny yet apt comment about the superstar.
“When you play with Ronaldo on your team, you are already 1-0 up."
#1 Sir Alex Ferguson
As the manager who has worked with Cristiano Ronaldo for the longest time, Sir Alex Ferguson has a special relationship with him. The former Manchester United manager signed him as a teenager and helped him get started on the journey that has seen him conquer the world.
Alex Ferguson recalled how everyone at Manchester United knew about Cristiano Ronaldo's greatness as the whole squad basically urged him to sign the player after his stirring performance in a pre-season friendly for Sporting Lisbon against them.
Later he called the player one of the best he had managed in his career and that's huge praise coming from a man who had developed a treble-winning squad and coached the likes of Beckham, Neville, Scholes, Eric Cantona and many more.
“We’ve had some great players at this club in my 20 years, but he’s up with the best.”