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Top 30 Quotes on Brazilian Ronaldo by legendary players and managers

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When Zlatan Ibrahimovic is your fan boy, then there is no need to explain why you’re one of the greatest players of all time. Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima was a true great, arguably the greatest striker to grace the football pitch.

Also known as ‘Il Fenomeno’, Ronaldo had feet like a ballerina, he was strong like a bull and sly like a fox. Not just that, despite his heavy frame, he was faster than some world class modern day forwards. Ronaldo had a habit of dribbling past goal keepers before putting the ball into the net. He scored all types of goals and kept the crowd entertained and on the edge of their seats.

Ronaldo never became a hated figure despite his stints for the hated rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid or Inter Milan and AC Milan. He even got a standing ovation from the Old Trafford faithful in 2003 after his hat-trick helped Real Madrid knock out the Premier League giants Manchester United.

Even the most loved players in world football have a hater or two but Ronaldo gets nothing but respect from his colleagues for his body of work over the years. He inspired a generation of aspiring and professional footballers all over the globe. Here are the top 25 quotes on the legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo by renowned players and managers in world football.

“For me, Ronaldo is the greatest. He was as [good as] Pele. There was nobody like him. No one has influenced both football and the players who emerged as Ronaldo. I put up photos of Ronaldo in my room. Ronaldo was the man. Not only because of his step-overs and goals in the World Cup. Ronaldo was brilliant on every level. He was what I wanted to be, a guy who made a difference. [ . . . ] Ronaldo was my hero and I studied him online and tried to take in his movements, and I thought I was getting to be an awesome player. I danced down the pitch with the ball.”

— Zlatan Ibrahimovic

“Ronaldo was my hero. He was the best striker I’ve ever seen. He was so fast he could score from nothing, and could shoot the ball better than anyone”

Lionel Messi

“My favourite Brazilian footballer of all time is Ronaldo. I was fortunate enough to play against him many times, and I was lucky enough to play against him before he got those serious injuries that affected his career. He was a formidable player, a sensational player. He was sort of like an alien because of what he could do on the pitch. The fact that a footballer like him is not remembered as the best player of all time is a great tragedy in my opinion. He had all the skills he needed to be the best ever”

Gianluigi Buffon

“The best player I have seen in my career.”

— Clarence Seedorf

“He was always an example for young people to look up to, for the way he overcame adversity. I was fortunate enough to play alongside him, my idol, for many years and we had so many great times together. He was always an idol of mine and will always be a friend


“What made Ronaldo different was his sheer physical strength. He is the best I have played with.”

— Luis Figo

“Ronaldo Nazário was, without doubt, the best striker I’ve ever seen. What I saw him do was spectacular, and that was having come to the club after a World Cup and having been sidelined for two years before that with a knee injury.”

— Michel Salgado

“When he was in his prime, Ronaldo was frightening. He had such incredible balance and power for someone so quick. Played with that Brazilian swagger and scored loads of goals, including some incredible ones.”

Denis Irwin

“I was in Spain when he was playing for Barcelona, and I can tell everybody that he was one of the best. He was impossible to mark, he had an acceleration that made him difficult to stop, he was scoring goals for fun, he was doing things that the rest couldn’t do. He was the special player during my time in Spain.”

— Gus Poyet

Ronaldo, the phenomenon, was the greatest player I have ever coached

Fabio Capello

The best player I have ever played with? That’s Ronaldo, il Fenomeno. I have seen il Fenomeno do things that nobody else has ever done


“I’ve never seen a player able to show such precise control at such a high speed. Watching him was like watching a character in a video game.”

— Marcel Desailly

The first time I saw him play was at Cruzeiro. He was still a kid. It was in a game where he ended up scoring five goals. From that point on he showed he was truly a phenomenon


If Ronaldo had not had those several knee injuries, we would probably be talking about a player — I don’t know on the same level as Maradona or Cruyff — but very close to them

Emilio Butragueno

Without hesitation, Ronaldo is the best player I ever played with. He had such an ease with the ball. He is number one. Every day I trained with him, I saw something different, something new, something beautiful. That’s what makes the difference between a very good player, and the exception, who, for me, is Ronaldo

Zinedine Zidane

When I was younger, the way the Brazilian Ronaldo played had an influence on me. For me he’s the best striker and the best player of all-time. I watch videos of him, and try to do what he does, but it’s not easy. It’s impossible to pull off the same moves as he did

Karim Benzema

“The worst experience I ever had was playing against Ronaldo when we faced Internazionale in the 1998 UEFA Cup Final in Paris. He’s an incredible player. I have watched that game on video so many times since then, trying to work out what I did wrong. We lost 3-0 but I don’t think now it was my fault. Ronaldo was simply unstoppable. He is so quick he makes everyone else look as if they are standing still.”

–Alessandro Nesta

“He has done what no other player could do in football.”

— Samuel Eto’o

“When he played for Barca, he was chosen FIFA World Player, (became) top-scorer, a lot of things that were unthinkable for a player of his age. He assumed that pressure, and won it all. I think he deserves even more respect than he receives.”

— Fernando Torres

“He’s one of the best attackers you could ever wish to see [ . . . ]. He was such a spectacular player, he ran so quickly with the ball he dribbled with it all the time. [ . . . ] the movement of his legs put defenders in so much difficulty, and then in front of goal he was so at ease and uncomplicated when it came to having a shot.”

— Robert Pires

“I’d seen him on television at PSV and thought ‘wow’. Then he came to Barcelona. He’s the most spectacular player I’ve ever seen. He did things I’d never seen before. We’re now used to seeing Messi dribble past six players, but not then. He was strong, a beast. A kid as well. He was typically Brazilian, doing the samba in the dressing room.”

— Luis Enrique

“I play in Italy and everyone I’ve ever talked to there said that Ronaldo was the best player that ever played in Italy. For me he was the most complete player ever.”

— Miroslav Klose

“He could do whatever he wanted with the ball. If he decided to score, then he’d score. He had strength, technique, and could play anywhere, on any pitch, against any opponent. He was above everyone else.”

— Sandro Mazzola

“The Brazilian Ronaldo was the best player I played with. [ . . . ] The goal I scored against Fulham (during the Premier League 2002/03 season, van Nistelrooy carried the ball from the half-line before scoring with a neat finish), which was exceptional for me, for him it was more like his standard. His natural ability was far beyond anything that I’ve played alongside.”

Ruud van Nistelrooy

“Ronaldo is a brilliant player and a phenomenon with whom I wouldn’t dare to be compared to.”

— Hernan Crespo (after replacing Ronaldo at Inter Milan)

“Ronaldo had pace and power and how good was his finishing? He’s the kind of striker that only needed to touch the ball once or twice to score a brace. Only great players like him can do that.”

— Sergio Aguero

“After Maradona the best player was Ronaldo [ . . . ] it is my opinion that he is the best of the last 20 years.”

— Jose Mourinho,

“If we are talking about singular players, Ronaldo is one of the most singular ones. He can get no ball for the whole match and determine the match with one action of his.”

— Vicente del Bosque

“Coaches recommended a second defensive line against him because everyone had the impression that Ronaldo would be able to lose his marker, whether it was with a sprint, or facing a defender directly.”

— Marcello Lippi

“He’s not a man, he’s a herd. He didn’t come to France [1998 World Cup] to compete with the players of his generation but to seek a place amongst the best of the two millennia – this one and the coming.

— Jorge Valdano

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