Ronaldo Nazario, not Cristiano or Messi, is football GOAT, says Mourinho

Ronaldo Nazario, Jose Mourinho, football GOAT, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

Ronaldo Nazario, not Cristiano or Messi, is football GOAT, says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has snubbed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the question of who is the ‘GOAT’ and instead picked former Brazil striker, Ronaldo Nazario.

The question of who is the greatest footballer of all time often crops up and to many the answer is either Ronaldo or Messi – but not Mourinho.

The Roma manager was asked by LiveScore who the best player ever was and revealed it was Ronaldo Nazario, who he worked with at Barcelona.

He said: “Ronaldo, El Fenomeno. Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have had longer careers, they have remained at the top every day for 15 years.

“However, if we are talking strictly about talent and skill, nobody surpasses Ronaldo [Nazario].

“When he was at Barcelona with Bobby Robson, I realised that he was the best player I’d ever seen take to the field.

Injuries killed a career that could have been even more incredible, but the talent that that 19-year-old boy had was something incredible.”

Ronaldo only played one season for Barcelona in 1996/97, having previously played two years for PSV, and scored an incredible 34 goals in 37 games.

Ronaldo Nazario was a world class striker. PHOTO: Alamy

Having broken the world record fee, with a transfer fee of £13.2 million, Barca sold him a year later when contract negotiations broke down for another world record fee of £19.5 million to Inter.

By 1997 and the age of just 21, the Brazilian had won the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice and would go on to win it a third time in 2002.

Ronaldo won the Golden Ball at the 1998 World Cup but the mystery surrounding his near absence at the final, when he was out of the team and then back in, stole all the headlines as Brazil lost to hosts France.

‘El Fenomeno’ played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona and Real Madrid. PHOTO: Alamy

He then missed a big part of three seasons with several knee injuries for Inter which were the start of the issues that meant he never quite lived up to the potential he had, despite still having an incredible career.

The Brazilian went on to score 352 goals in 518 appearances in all competitions in his club career and without injuries it could have been even better.

Of course, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have since taken the game to a whole new level with their goal records but ‘El Fenomeno’ is still one of the best of all time. Certainly, Mourinho thinks he’s the very best.


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