During his 7 years with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo came up against some of the leading defenders in football world, in both Premier League and UCL.
If you look back,great John Terry from Chelsea was at the peak of his career, so he may spring to mind, or maybe someone from his time at the Carrington training ground, Nemanja Vidic or Rio Ferdinand perhaps?
Nope. In an interview with El Chiringuito TV earlier this year, the world’s best footballer revealed that former Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole was a very tricky opponent.
In fact, he was the toughest customer among all CR7 has faced in his 16 year professional career – now that is a very bold statement.
This isn’t the first time Cristiano has expressed his admiration for Ashley Cole’s defending techniques.
Speaking to Coach Magazine 2 years ago, he said:
“Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole, he does not give you a second to breathe. He was such a tenacious player when he was at his peak, quick, tough in the tackle. You knew it would never be an easy game.”
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Watching both players go at it in their absolute prime was a joy to watch, and it’s certainly high praise from Juventus star for the 3 time Premier League winner.
I think it’s fair to say that the former Arsenal full-back contained Ronaldo more than most, but a moment during Manchester United’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford proves that he did slip on the odd occasion. Literally.
In the 4th minute, Ronaldo changed direction quickly with a stepover and Cole couldn’t stay on his feet, which led the Old Trafford crowd chanting “whey” as he landed on his backside.
Do you think Ashley Cole will go down in history as one of the Premier League’s Best defenders?