For many, CR7 is the greatest of all time

13 big names who have declared Cristiano Ronaldo the GOAT: Mbappe, Zidane…

Some of the biggest names in football have declared Cristiano Ronaldo the GOAT from Roy Keane to Kylian Mbappe.

Having won five Ballon d’Or, five Champions Leagues, seven league titles, the Euros and countless more trophies, there can be little debate that Ronaldo ranks among the best players of all time.

He’s only 109 goals shy from scoring 1000 career goals and at the ripe old age of 39, he doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon.

Here are 13 big names from the world of football that consider Ronaldo to be the greatest of all time.

Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend previously regarded Lionel Messi as the GOAT, but he’s since backtracked on his original thoughts.

“You know what, I’ve always been a Messi man,” Lampard told The Overlap in 2021.

“I actually think for Ronaldo’s output and actual numbers, and goals in big finals and semi-finals like we’ve seen, I think I maybe give him the edge.”

Steven Gerrard

Like his fellow England teammate, Gerrard has also changed his tune on the GOAT debate in recent years. The Al-Ettifaq boss recently branded CR7 as the greatest of all time.

“The arrival of the ‘GOAT’ as we call him, Cristiano, him arriving in January. Obviously huge signing, still had a lot of football to offer. From afar, for six months, I was looking in at Cristiano Ronaldo’s results, watching some games, watching some highlights.

“I think from that moment, the league around the world became a very popular talking point for everyone.”

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates lifting the FA Cup, European Championships and Champions League trophies, pictured (L-R) with Manchester United, Portugal and Real Madrid

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Roy Keane

Even when things went pear-shaped for Ronaldo upon his return to Old Trafford, Keane always seemed to have his back when on punditry duty.

“I think there has been a great debate about him [Ronaldo] and Messi, but over the last six months, I think he’s on a new level — Ronaldo’s out there on his own. It’s not natural ability, as brilliant as he is, it’s sheer hard work,” Keane said while covering the 2018 World Cup.

“He’s got a lot of courage, he’s brave, and the guy is a genius. I think his form over the last few months, I’d have him above of Messi.”

Gary Neville

Neville and Ronaldo haven’t always seen eye to eye, but the former Man Utd captain has always referred to CR7 as the greatest of all time.

“Look, there’s no doubt that Messi’s scored an obscene amount of goals,” Neville told Sky Sports in 2021. “He’s a ridiculous player.

“[But] Ronaldo’s scored probably 30 or 40 per cent more with his wrong foot and he’s scored more penalties. So it just took me to a point where he was more complete in terms of the most important part of the game.

“The thing that tips it over the edge even more is that international record, of the most international goals ever. The fact that he’s won five Champions Leagues with teams that aren’t even as good as Messi’s team…”

Iker Casillas

When asked to name the best player of the modern era, Casillas provided a short and sweet answer, saying: “Cristiano.”

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Roberto Carlos

“These days, when you talk about football, you talk about Neymar, Messi, and Ronaldo and for me, Cristiano has worked to improve,” Carlos told Fox Sports in 2017.

“I watch him train every day and the way he works is exciting. He wants to improve every day. That’s the difference with Messi.

“Leo is a phenomenon, but that side of Cristiano, of training, professionalism, focus, motivation, success… Cristiano has an advantage over all the others.”

Kylian Mbappe

It’s no secret that Ronaldo is Mbappe’s idol and the French forward has referred to CR7 as the GOAT on multiple occasions on social media.

Zinedine Zidane

Soon after Ronaldo had lifted his fifth Ballon d’Or, the former Real Madrid boss was quick to brandish the Portuguese star as the greatest of all time.

Asked if Ronaldo was the GOAT in 2017, Zidane said: “Yes. His numbers speak for it, both in terms of what he has done and what’s still to come.

“There’s no more words you can use to describe Cristiano. What he does is phenomenal.

“A player could come here, spend 20 years playing in this side and still not achieve what he’s done.”

Thomas Muller

When asked to pick between Messi and Ronaldo, Muller said: “I go for Ronaldo. Against Messi, I have a good statistic, against Ronaldo, not that good.”

Ronaldo has scored against 38 different opponents in the Champions League.

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Ryan Giggs

“Well obviously I played with Cristiano so I’m going to go with Cristiano,” Giggs said in 2017.

“Cristiano has done it in Portugal, he’s obviously done it in England and he’s done it in La Liga and also on the national front with Portugal as well. I think Cristiano for me just pips it, but only just.”

Giorgio Chiellini

When asked to pick between the two greats of the modern era, Chiellini told ESPN: “Ronaldo.”


“I have played with Brazilian Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Van Nistelrooy but Cristiano is the best I have played with,” Marcelo told reporters in 2017.

“He is the most complete player I’ve ever seen.”

Pablo Sarabia

Sarabia has been lucky enough to play alongside the likes of Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar, but he has a clear preference between the three of them.

“It’s amazing because it’s a dream to play with these players,”  Sarabia told talkSPORT.

When asked to name the best player he’s played with, he said: “It’s a very difficult question. It’s Cristiano because his mindset is totally incredible. It’s very hard.”