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‘Ronaldo is the most intelligent player I have seen in my life’

Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane
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Roy Keane has opened up on how impressed he is by his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo’s intelligence.

Cristiano Ronaldo is an ‘absolute genius’ and ‘the cleverest player ever’, says Roy Keane.

The Irishman played alongside Ronaldo at Manchester United between 2003 and 2006. They won the FA Cup together before Keane joined Celtic in January 2006 to see out the rest of his career.

Of course, a lot has changed since then. Ronaldo has won countless honors at both club and international level, and is now one of the most successful players in the game’s history. And even at the age of 36, he continues to slam home the goals at the highest level.

“The most important part of Ronaldo’s set-up is his brain,” Keane said on ITV on Sunday evening before Portugal’s 1-0 defeat to Belgium in the last-16 stage of Euro 2020.

“He’s the most intelligent player I have seen in my life. Obviously, I’m not going back to the 50s and 60s, but the guy loves scoring goals.

“His intelligence is amazing, how he plays the game, he doesn’t get involved in build-up plays but he’s got that trickery and arrogance which you need from the great players.

“The brain, the intelligence of the man, how he’s done it in different countries, how he’s looked after himself off the pitch as well.”

Keane added: “I can’t praise the man enough, he’s an absolute genius.

“I love watching him. Just the brain he’s got, the cleverest player ever.”

Ronaldo scored five goals in only four games in Euro 2020 to help Portugal qualify for the knockout stages and equaled Ali Daei as record scorer in men’s international football history.

The national team’s title defense, however, came to an unfortunate end on Sunday in a 1-0 defeat to Belgium in Seville.