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‘Players like Ronaldo come along once every 200 years’

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus
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Real Madrid made a big mistake thinking they could replace a special player like Cristiano Ronaldo, says Emmanuel Adebayor.

450 goals in 438 games, 4 Ballon d’Or awards, 4 Champions League titles, 3 European Golden Shoes, and so many other prestigious honors came Cristiano Ronaldo’s way at Real Madrid.

What the Portuguese star achieved in the Spanish capital was so out of this world, that nobody could possibly compare either now or years later in the future. His feats were truly remarkable, to say the least.

But Florentino Perez didn’t value Ronaldo the same way Barcelona do with Lionel Messi, which ultimately led to his shock exit to Juventus in July 2018.

Ronaldo later confessed in an interview with France Football three months later that he ‘no longer felt indispensable’ to Florentino. He even had the impression the club president wouldn’t prevent him from leaving.

The Madrid board evidently felt a young successor would have emerged by now to replace their record goalscorer.

But Adebayor, who played alongside CR7 for six months on loan from Manchester City in 2011, never believed that replacing such a special player would be possible.

The 36-year-old striker told AS: “I think maybe they thought they would get another player like Ronaldo, but players like him only come along once every 200 years.”

Adebayor also weighed in on Karim Benzema’s strong form since Ronaldo left for Juventus two years ago.

The French striker is now the key man in the Blancos attack, scoring 56 goals in the last two seasons. In fact, he played a big role in the club’s La Liga triumph this term.

“When Ronaldo left, he had to take up the responsibility and I think he’s done really well,” Adebayor said on Benzema.

“He’s scored a lot of goals, important goals so he’ll be a danger [to Manchester City in the Champions League], no doubt about it.”

Adebayor also weighed in on the impact Ronaldo would’ve made for Real Madrid in their upcoming Champions League last-16 clash against Manchester City, whom they trail 2-1 on aggregate.