After seeing Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent successes first-hand, Peter Crouch has suggested his GOAT verdict could change from Lionel Messi to the Portuguese.
The way Cristiano Ronaldo continues to break ‘every single record’, his consistency and incredible Manchester United comeback have left Peter Crouch conflicted.
The former Liverpool and Tottenham striker is a self-confessed ‘Lionel Messi man’. He has always rated the Argentine and his ‘genius’ as the best to have ever graced football…until now at least.
After seeing Ronaldo become the all-time international top scorer from the stands in Portugal this month, and then seeing him score twice in his United homecoming on Saturday, Crouch isn’t so sure about his initial GOAT verdict anymore.
What did Crouch say?
“I have always been a Lionel Messi man. A gift from God. The poise, elegance and everything that goes with his genius is spellbinding,” Crouch wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“But we have reached the stage now where every single record is being broken by the other man in the conversation. A change of heart, a switch of sides, could potentially be on its way. Are you even allowed to cross that divide? What are the repercussions?
“Cristiano Ronaldo became the all-time top scorer in international men’s football last week and I was fortunate enough to be there to witness that unfold with a lager in hand, drinking history in, over in Portugal.
“Republic of Ireland had kept him quiet — he even missed a penalty — but then, bang, two unbelievable headers. Everybody there was in the presence of greatness and that is what Manchester United have bought.
“All those years ago, during his first spell, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney used to tell me that Ronaldo promised he would end up as the best player in the world. United’s players would laugh at him.
“Showing that sort of confidence at such a young age, before he had achieved anything, was outrageous. Then to go and do it, following through on your words, is an amazing achievement.”
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) September 2, 2021
Messi had a divine right, Ronaldo has worked
Crouch added: “I often wondered about the single-mindedness that has made him [Ronaldo] one of the finest ever to grace our sport.
“The thought that the unceasing relentlessness to plunder hundreds of goals could have a detrimental impact on the team, because he is so selfish in some ways, did occur to me. Shoots from anywhere, Ronaldo. How will those around him react?
“But those fears are long gone because of his sheer consistency.
“Ronaldo was one of the first players to hire a personal chef. It was not the done thing at the time. The attention to detail stood out and saw him harness his undeniable talent. Messi had a divine right, Ronaldo has worked. Two different paths and we are lucky their careers collided as they have.”