October 27th, 2008
06:33 PM ET

Is Ronaldo really the best?

So, Cristiano Ronaldo is the best footballer in the world.

At least according to his fellow pros at the international players' union, FIFPro. The union's annual poll results were announced this week, and the Portuguese star came out on top.

Ronaldo also featured in the short list for the Ballon D'Or, released last week, and was tipped by last year's winner, Brazilian star Kaka to take that accolade as well.

But, as Manchester United continue to stumble domestically, and Ronaldo himself looks a little out of shape, we can't help wondering if he really is better than the likes of Fernando Torres, Lionel Messi or Kaka?

What do you think? Does the Portuguese wonder still have it? Or is there someone else who should be taking all the game's top prizes?

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soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. bullet_my

    not really.ronaldo looks more like and entertainer than a footballer..just like beckham.(nothing against MU team).torres, kaka n messi much more true be called as the best becoz the score a lot of goals, most of them are beautiful football which football fans wants to see again and again. for ronaldo is the hype of MU marketing tools..

    October 28, 2008 at 2:02 am | Reply
  2. Mahia

    Definitely! Going by the results of last season alone, there was no doubts that Ronaldo earns the Player of the Year. His incredible goal tally (for a winger) speaks acres in testament. I thought he was amazing even before last season, but the fact that United didn't do well in Europe gave the nod Kaka's way. But both Ronaldo and Manchester United were sterling in 07/08 and Ronny deserves it. I doubt, however, that he'll be able to emulate his performance past this season. But for now, he IS the best player.

    October 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  3. Ricardo

    Since I was a small child my dad always told me story of the great Eusebio and he could do with the ball and now we have Ronaldo how came from Madeira to one of the greatest football academys of Portugal and the world and now he is playing for another great club Man. Utd.
    Last season he was extremely great at Man. Utd. but he came short of being European Champion for Portugal but still he played well.
    It true in the start of the season he not having some luck in making goals because he came out of the injury list and he is getting is form back but we have until May to see what he can do so don´t count him out yet he may suprise all of us.
    Without question Cristiano Ronaldo is the greastest player in the world and I hope that he wins this year the player of the year award because he deserves it.
    VIVA PORTUGAL!!!!!!!!!!

    October 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  4. thiosh

    I have nothing against him, but it is eveident that he is not as good as one wants to make him look. He is a hard worker and takes risks, but talentwise you wouldn't compare him to the great and only time will tell what he is worth.

    October 28, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  5. omprasad

    Yes he is really best football player of the world at the moment we know that he already won the premier title & European cup for his club manchester United .He is also doing his best for his national team so we must go with Ronaldo .In my veiw ,he is also adore for FIFA player as well as EU best player there is nobody like him to get game's top prize if this year.

    October 28, 2008 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  6. Clifton Jantjies

    I Suppose he'll be named footballer of the year.Will he win it agian in the future?The answer is NO.True greats always win the Ballon D’Or
    more than once.Christiano is not the true Ronaldo that ecolade belongs to the phenom who hails from Brazil.

    October 28, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  7. Gboyen

    Yeah I think he was, at least for last season. He doesn't look that sharp again on the pitch though! You can't always be on top... I think he deserves the award for his effort last season.

    October 28, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  8. anibal

    Well Christiano is an excellent player he is got the magic, and besides this he is got and stading physical skills nonthenless, messii has proven to be a grate player and in my concept more complete. so is matter of time tah he will take this position

    October 28, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  9. gabriel

    you have to give credit to ronaldo for enjoying a great last season . he is strong, skillful and has a great sense for scoring goals, but in my iponion he is nowhere close to the argentinian player lionel messi who will most likely mark an "era" like pele, maradona or zidane did in their days. messi dribbles the ball like no other player in the world. he is also skillfull and even his attitude outside the soccer field is admirable. in my opinion ronaldo cant even be compared to him, but i guess only time will really tell.

    October 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  10. Chakal Crew

    CR is the best THIS year but don't next year....
    Bojan, Torres, Villa, Messi, Iker, Xavie are the FUTUR!!!

    October 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  11. Jam

    Lets put things into perspective here. Ronaldo scored 40+ goals during a long season. The last two months on an injured ankle! He then captained Portugal at the Euros. After this, he had an overdue ankle surgery. He then returned a month before schedule. Are we now expecting him to fire on all cylinders straight away?!!! The boy is definitely not at 100%.
    He doesnt look happy at moment (not because he wants to be at Real Madrid) but because he knows he is not up to his high standards that he has set. He is his biggest critic ... a trait of all great players.
    Ronaldo has has two amazing seasons. Kaka for example had a below-average season last year after he won the world player of the year award. However, you still regard him as a great player. Without doubt Kaka, messi and Torres are great players. However, Ronaldo is definitely there too.
    He deserves the accolades he gets this season and he will be firing on all cylinders before long with that arrogant smile on his face!

    October 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  12. Jumper

    Hang on. It seems as if you are basing the awards he received/ up for on his current season at Man. U. This is a highly naive thing to do.

    Firstly, last year Ronaldo scored 42 goals as a MIDFIELDER; a tally that should be attributed to a FORWARD.

    Secondly, the voting and consideration for these awards are handled almost in the middle of the previous season, announcing the winner almost half way through the current season. Then, Ronaldo scored many unbelievable goals, some coming from breathtaking free kicks. If you take away all those goals would Man. U still have two extra trophies in their cabinet? I doubt it.

    Thirdly, Ronaldo had ankle surgery this term and missed the start of the season. Because he was recovering from surgery his teammates as well as his opponents had played a handful of extra games. Yes, right now he is not as sharp as he was when he ended the 2007/2008 campaign, but give him another month and i bet you we will all be experiencing deja vu.

    October 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  13. juan carlos

    he is just another marketing figure like Beckham! there are many players that have a superior level.

    October 28, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  14. Gerry

    There is no doubt that Ronaldo is a talented player. On his day he can turn in great performances. But compare him to George Best. No one in the last thirty years has come along that is even close to the talent that Best possessed. I know people will bring up his wasted talent when he walked away from football but what he gave us is imbedded in the memories of those that knew his talent and skill.

    What about Eusebio, Pele, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton? Ronaldo does not come close to those players. Like Beckham, Ronaldo is a master at free kicks and a great passer of the ball. But over 90 minutes of play he pales in comparison to the greats.

    Still, with the players available today Ronaldo is in the top twenty of great players playing in the world.

    October 28, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  15. Patrick Lee

    Let's face it people, CR is definitely the all round best player. Granted there are days that is may be down abit and of late it's cos of the amount of pressure he has to perform and coming back from the ankle injury, it's not easy.
    Areas he's untouchable are:
    1. his dribbling skills and outwitting his opponents under pressure
    2. his "entertaining" skills, ability to capture the audience
    3. his ability to draw the foul
    4. his unselfish and feeder capabilities
    5. his ability to "find" the position to score
    6. his awesome free kicks (getting the ball where he wants)

    Areas he needs improvement
    1. his teamwork: however this comes with maturity.

    Future: I dont expect him to score 40+ goals this year simply because he is so heavily marked. Notice that he is smothered by a minimum of 3 opposing players everytime he gets the ball! This is the ONLY way to stop the man. But still... he gets my vote for being the best at this point in time!

    October 28, 2008 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  16. chris

    My vote would be with Ronaldo 3 out of 5 times, and with Torres the other two. On thier respective best days I think Ronaldo takes it but not by much

    October 29, 2008 at 12:33 am | Reply
  17. baatar

    this year`s best player is Andrey Arshavin.

    October 29, 2008 at 1:28 am | Reply
  18. Phijo

    Like jesus said...let the controllers say ..who he is

    October 29, 2008 at 2:25 am | Reply
  19. KA

    No...he is a show pony.

    He might have scored 42 goals but how many were from penalties? Most importantly, he froze during big games (in games involving both club and country) and that is not a quality of one bestowed as the best footballer of the world. He is only good when played against weak teams.

    October 29, 2008 at 2:58 am | Reply
  20. KA

    Torres is more deserving imho.

    He came to a foreign land and league and set the record straight away for being the highest scoring foreigner (no easy feat to achieve as the previous holder is none other than one very prolific goal scorer himself, Mr. RVN). He scored over 30 goals and none from penalties.

    He also scored the winning goal for Spain to lift the European Cub for them for the first time since 1964. That was the biggest stage of football competition this year, in Europe as well as the world (no FIFA world cup in 2008).

    October 29, 2008 at 3:09 am | Reply
  21. Loh Pak Lin

    Give him time. I am sure he will come back especially with a team like Manchester United that works as a cohesive team and getting the support from his teammates. He was in the same situatio in the past but he came back strong. Did he not?

    I think his attitude of not only scoring goals but helping to winning should be considered as well.

    October 29, 2008 at 4:35 am | Reply
  22. Joanes

    Christiano Ronaldo is without doubt the finest footballer in the planet .
    His hardwork and an avalanche of goals especially coming from a winger were crucial in seeing manchester united win the champions league and the premier league.Christiano will recover from his ankle surgery and regain his form that made him perform superbly well in the ended season.

    October 29, 2008 at 5:53 am | Reply
  23. Shaaz

    Definitely the Best !!
    not many can have that much of an impact on the field as Christian00..

    how many of those, menti0ned here & there, have scored 42 g0als in a single seas0n ever ?? Would anyone plzz name..

    n donn forget..thats a tally for a winger..not an outright forward.

    Moreover & foremost, when his more than 40,000 fellow pros believe He is the best..... need i say m0re ??

    October 29, 2008 at 6:37 am | Reply
  24. The Truth

    C. Ronoldo is over rated. He should change his last name. What do people see in this guy. Should he even be put in the top 5? Really. Remember this is the guy who missed a penalty kick in the Champions Leauge final. What top player does that and then cries after realizing he tries to hard. They should reevaluate this guy. C tries to entertain to much, and that usually hurts his team. And since when do goals influence a players rating? Lets be real here. Think about it. There are plenty of other players who surpas his value to a team.

    October 29, 2008 at 7:04 am | Reply
  25. Ginigeme Ogochukwu M

    Though i hate to admit it,C Ronaldo was undoubtably the best player in the world in the year under review,

    October 29, 2008 at 7:09 am | Reply
  26. Ken

    I'm a big fan of MU since Bryan Robson days (back in the 80s). To be fair and from a neutral point of view, Ronaldo performed the best on the field last season. And because of that, he deserves the awards.

    But ... but. Is he the best among the current group of players? I would say maybe not. Messi did not do well last season due to injuries. Kaka too. Ronaldhino party too much and lost his fitness. On any given day, when all 3 are on top form, they are better than Christiano. They are more complete footballers, less 'predictable' and always dangerous with the ball.

    As for Christiano, he is still far away from being 'complete'. Good news is, he can still improve .. a lot .. lets wait for that day 🙂


    October 29, 2008 at 7:47 am | Reply

    To be THE BEST in any field you must have in you 5 carte blanche .

    And Ronaldo have them all.

    1 Talent
    2 Commitment
    3 Skill
    4 Entertainment
    5 Physique

    October 29, 2008 at 10:53 am | Reply
  28. Joanes

    Having read most of the comments posted, I get the impression that most people think that the awards are given based on a player's performance in the current season.For their information, the awards are being given on the performance of the last season and it is obvious that You don't have to be a man u fan to know that Christiano was the best.Be fair to the agile portuguese and man u winger!

    October 29, 2008 at 11:20 am | Reply
  29. Scott

    Kaka and Messi are the two finest footballers on the planet. Ronaldo isn't even close to those two.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:53 am | Reply
  30. Barcelona927

    Ok , so what about his penalty shot at the champion's league final last year. I know its not that big a deal if you miss a penalty shot, but its the way he played it. He tried bluffing the goal keaper, the goal keeper did not even flinch. Then ronaldo shot, and he saved it! he crushed him. This is not the doing of a footballer that deserves to be on top of all football players.

    October 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  31. Dean

    He is talented and yes, he is the Best player in the World. Last season he was great and the reason why he is not doing so well right now is because he is still recovering from a recent anckle surgery.

    October 29, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  32. Daniel

    The best, most creative and imaginative, fastest, efficient, fun-to-watch player is Lionel Messi. The second best is Lionel Messi. And the third one is Messi too. Plain and simple. No, I don't live in Spain and am not Argentinian.

    October 29, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  33. Ren

    Well, just "good" not very good. Yes, of course, Kaka, Messi and Tores are better, much more better. Ronaldo has a little "psyco" and lack of the star qualities. He is just too much "overacting" or "acting" or even too much "showoff". I think its good for him to go and join Holywood... He is not macho and feminine side is very obvious – Just like a crying baby. Only because of fanatism makes people likes him. Even many MU players are better than him. Poor thing...

    October 29, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  34. raybahny

    since there is a criteria for choosing d balon d'or. C.ronaldo is d best player 4 last season, not just doing a wingers job but also scoring vital goals.without sentiment ronaldo,torres n casillas should be d first three players in europe.who else, kaka is a good player but his form last season wasnt high,n ac milan didnt win trophies.messi only won d olympic medals.so if u put all dis 2 consideration ronaldo is d best. he won 2 trophies n got 2 d q-finals of euro cup .its ronny's season leave it 4 d dazzling mancunian............man utd 4 eva

    October 29, 2008 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  35. martin

    NO. He is not the best footballer in the world. It is between him, kaka and Ronaldiniho

    October 29, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  36. joseph


    October 29, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  37. ChanYew Gin

    Stylish, yes but not really the best.

    Nowhere compared to Diego Maradona

    October 29, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  38. martin

    He is the best. I don't want him to leave man utd

    October 29, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  39. tonysh

    Before the European Championship this year, Cristiano Ronaldo was tipped to be the player of the tournament. When it took place place he was hardly a threat (see the game against Germany). The jury is still out as to whether the best player in the world.

    October 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  40. joanita

    he really deserves it this year cos he accomplished much in football as a whole even the best strickers couldnt match him.What more would the world of football want from him. This season he cant be judged that much cos he's just recovered from injury. Christiano deserves all the accolades this year just to be fair and he"ll improve as he gets back his fitness this season just wait and see.

    October 30, 2008 at 9:30 am | Reply
  41. Tony Odigie

    He deserves it becouse he was really sparkliny last year, but my player for last year is Steven Gerald. He is the best.

    October 30, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  42. Sergio

    Some of the comments here are really funny. If you guys are cricket lovers and seem to have no understanding of football whatsoever, except maybe for watching a few games with your mates once in a while, why do you bother to take the time to comment on a football article and say such stupid things..

    Over last season who performed better than Ronaldo? 42 goals + over 10 assists for a right winger/forward... Noone even came close, thats why he will win it.. there is no debate.. you can say which player you enjoy the most, and it can be Kaka, Messi, Xavi, whoever but the best performer there is no debate..

    and the below comments cannot be from anyone who likes or knows anything about football.. others are just too stupid..

    – Torres highest scoring foreigner >> hmmm, Ronaldo scored 42, Torres 30 something.. can u count? or is Ronaldo english now..?

    – And since when do goals influence a players rating? Lets be real here. Think about it. >>> hahaha

    – he missed a penalty >> yeah, lets judge the best player by the penalties he missed...

    October 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  43. Simon O'Rourke

    He is a solid player in a great team. That is it though.

    He appears to be better than his true ability because nobody dares to breath on him in fear of him throwing himself to the floor in an apparent seizure.

    Man utd will rue the day they turned down R.Madrids ridiculously large offer. His value after this season will be more true to his talent and thus cut in half.

    Gerrard, Torres, Ronaldinho, Messi, Kaka...all better.

    October 30, 2008 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  44. Haroun haroun

    Tores is the best.
    .best in any field

    October 31, 2008 at 3:55 am | Reply
  45. Keshava

    Stevie Gerrard is my fav in the EPL.

    October 31, 2008 at 10:59 am | Reply
  46. youwai yap

    Based on last season's performance, I think C Ronaldo deserves it. It's not easy to win the EPL and Champions League in the same season. If there was one player from MU to get it then it must be C Ronaldo. But as for the FIFA World Player short list, I'm surprised by the omission of Marco Senna. I feel Marco Senna who played brilliantly for Spain in the European Nations Cup deserves at least to be short-listed amongst the 20+ players.

    I find in many occasions, "effective" players like Marco Senna are overlooked. "Flare" players get more recognition. But Zidane could appreciate having Deschamp playing behind him (in the winning French team), Henry with Vierra (Arsenal) and a Chelsea team with a "consevative" Makelele won EPL .

    November 3, 2008 at 3:23 am | Reply
  47. Hasan

    Yes Pedro. He still has it. I don't share many of your views, since you don't reallyt like Man Utd., and hate everything to do with that team. But he sthat brilliance, and now is becoming more of a team player. By the way, Rooney doesn't only push defenders around, he makes his team play, you could notice if you had the smallest clue about football. I personally think you don't.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  48. Jacob Njella

    Yap, not only Man U but also Portugal depend on him more. Yet now the world enjoying his terent. Real he is best

    December 5, 2008 at 6:36 am | Reply
  49. George Amoah

    i can say he is the best of best compare to the other cos.we must not forget he is just recovering from injury but he is still scoring goals for united and makig assists.many people will bear with me he is the best on the planet at the moment he deserve the award.

    December 23, 2008 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  50. prakash m

    Ronaldo looks good in Premier league. But he is not consistant and a complete player like Messi/Pele/Maradona and he is little selfish on the field to rated as best player in the world

    January 4, 2009 at 2:52 am | Reply
  51. The russ

    As far as im concerned thierry henry and ronaldinho are footballing gods..then comes kaka messi and torres,ronaldo is great bt im nt such a huge fan

    January 5, 2009 at 4:59 am | Reply

    KAKA should be named BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD,2ND

    NB; Ronaldo dives easily and regularily.Plays with the ball around his feet to impress the crowds.Good but simply not the best.....

    January 6, 2009 at 11:20 am | Reply
  53. Jerome

    I am an ardent Liverpool Supporter and would have loved Torres to win but I have to admit that Ronaldo had a season second to none and deserves to be named the best footballer in the world for that time. If you look at what he did:

    He scored 42 goals from a midfielding position breaking record after record along the way. This doesnt even take into account how many goal assists he had. This is also taking into account that he plays in a league where all four of the top teams made it to the semis and finals of the Champions League playing against some of the top players in the world week in and week out. For me, the English Premiership has to be the toughest league in Europe and to score 42 goals while not being a forward, making countless assists, and leading your team to the League and Champions League well deserves the accolades he is getting. No other player had more of an influence last year.

    January 6, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  54. Jorge O.

    Kaka!! Kaka!! Kaka!!

    January 6, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  55. Simmer


    Ronaldo spends more time falling down than any other premiership player.His free kicks are questionable unless they go in, which granted they do sometimes, but the percentage of misses is high.Speed but directionless, tricks but needless, attitude...teenage strops and sulks don't help a team, and has anyone noticed his neglect of defensive duties, poor positional play and dismal passing recently.Ronaldo is a good player not a great player and that is the tragedy of modern media hype, the light shines brightest in all the wrong places.

    Stay Classy

    January 7, 2009 at 1:54 am | Reply
  56. kayode

    As regards the best footballer last year, it would be criminal to even argue it. Ronaldo produced a performance second to none in the footballing world. Whether or not he is performing the exploits of last season now is another arguement altogether. A winger? 42 goals?
    champions league trophy? premier league? highest goal scorer in europe? highest goal scorer in the champions league? please this is not even an arguement!

    January 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  57. Joe

    In consideration of his last year's performance, he should be awarded the best player.

    January 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  58. Afi

    yes ronaldo is superlatively and excessively skillful, and based on last season he perhaps deserves the award as no other player was as outstanding but i do n ot feel he is the outright best, i feel kaka is abit more stable,mature n consistent n is still the best even if he does not deserve the award based on last season another problem with ronlado is that he is not the greatest team player n if the team is not playin well at a particular moment, he also does not .

    January 9, 2009 at 9:49 am | Reply
  59. shariffa

    first,hello i can say the best player in europe is c.ronaldo and he can be win the best player in this world ronaldo perfomance was so good when he was stay manchester it was so good even know i can say he is bether than kaka and messi so he could won i am avoting him

    by shariffa

    October 19, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Reply

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