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Ronaldo Is New Best Or Cantona?

Cristiano Ronaldo is well loved by the United faithful thanks to his blinding ability, match winning skills, and as much as anything, the hatred the rest of the country feels towards him. The more they all boo, the more we cheer, and seemingly, the more Ronaldo scores. In all competitions, he’s bagged nineteen goals in twenty three matches so far this season. He is a special talent and a player United fans are grateful to have on the books.

It is no surprise then that he is linked with a move away from the club every time the transfer window opens. Real Madrid seem to be the keenest to land our Portuguese winger and with Ronaldo’s desire to move to Spain, it’s more a case of if, rather than when, he will be playing for the Spanish giants.

However, today David Gill has spoken out about Ronaldo, saying there is no chance of us selling him, claiming he is like George Best and Eric Cantona. “There’s no chance of us selling him. Absolutely no way, whatever the money,” he said. “He signed a new contract last season to 2012 and we are not a selling club. Alex Ferguson has never let a player go when he was not happy to do so. Cristiano is happy here. Alex and Carlos Queiroz know his mind and what he’s about. Everything about him is Manchester United. He’s like George Best, Eric Cantona. You can’t sell players like that and we are not going to sell players like that.”

Ronaldo is special, but is Gill right to put him in the category of Best and Cantona?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Dave says:

    I dont actually think that he was sayin that ronaldo was better/same as Best or La King, i think he was suggestin that he was the one that made thing’s happen with a kick of a ball!!!

  2. Eddie says:

    I think Ronaldo has become as good as Best and Cantona. He does everything so well, and he does very much! I can almost go as far as saying that Ronaldo IS United.

  3. Patrick Byrne says:

    Probably not yet, but if he continues to progress at his current rate there is no reason to assume he won’t ascent to those levels before long. He is already one of the top 3 players in the world at age 22. Given only a moderate improvement he will become one of the finest players in football history.

  4. smarties says:

    ability of Best, attitude of Cantona.

  5. Tom F says:

    Ronaldo is RONALDO, Different era, Different ability and only 22. From what I hear of Duncan Edwards, the first player I think of is Ronaldo. Big, Strong, Good in the Air, Great with both feet. It is something to be proud of and I wonder how it would have been for him if he signed elsewhere 4 years or so ago. Players such as Reyes and Robben were equally being tipped for something big, but Ronaldo is on a totally higher level.

  6. Sam says:

    I agree with Tom, although not too sure about the Edwards link.

    Ronaldo is a different player to any I have seen or heard about- one whose primary attribute, like a typical exciting winger, is his pace and skill, but also one who can shoot, pass, head etc.

    His strength and aerial prowess makes him different to Best, his pace and position to Cantona, and, although Edwards did, at times, play in advanced roles, he was generally a far more defensive player than Ronaldo.

    Not to say Ronaldo is better than any of them though…yet.

  7. steam says:

    whilst i agree that ronaldo is a great no 7 for us, and will be hopefully for the next couple of years, somehow, i feel that he still isnt truly Manutd (personal opinion and gut feel), if you know what i mean. there still seems to be a little missing link that makes players truly Manutd. granted he is exceptional and has declared his devotion, but with this boy you get the feeling if one day out of the blue he ups and leaves, it wouldnt come as a very, very big surprise – anybody know what i mean? or is it just me…hmmm….for me, that makes him that slightl bit less than our Best, Charlton, Cantona, Robson

    in any case, this is just me opinion, i hope not, really love the player and his transformation which SAF brought about and his play with the team! bang on ronaldo!!

    btw, anyone following the huntelaar saga? that is one player i hope, really really hope, we get. a little disappointed and wary that chelski got anelka – sigh – i think its a good buy for them…. hope he sulks with shev and ballack, and throws the team into chaos…but i doubt it

  8. Magnus says:

    Ronaldo purely rated as a football player is no doubt superior to Eric Cantona. This may be blasphemy to some, but undoubtedly true. He is top 3 in the world, which the King never was, and is younger than Eric was when he arrived at the club. Ronaldo has the ability to be rated on the same level as Maradona, Pele and di Stefano, let alone Eric Cantona. He might even be better than George Best, but that might be taking it a bit too far just yet!

    However, and this is a big however, Ronaldo has some ways to go before he’ll mirror either Cantona or Best in the affections of the United faithful. Indeed, he has a long way to go to match Wayne Rooney in that regard. Ronaldo needs to commit to the club more than just in words – the fans need to believe him, to view him as United thorugh and through.

    Rooney came to United at a later date than Ronaldo, remember, yet somehow it’s Rooney most of us love the most. It has to do with his attitude and his love for the club. Where Rooney says things like “I will stay at United for the rest of my career, it’s the best and biggest club in the world”, Ronaldo says “Who wouldn’t want to stay at one of the biggest clubs in the world?” and “one day I dream of playing in Spain”.

    Only when Ronaldo fully commits to United will he rival Best and Cantona as United legends.

  9. Scott the Red says:

    Magnus – if you judge how good a player is based upon the FIFA World Player of the Year award, then your judgement is massively flawed.

    You know that David Beckham and Ronaldo are the only United players to make the top 3 in the World since the 60s. Is Ronaldo better than every player United have had since the 60s, with the exception of Beckham? I’d go with no. Your logic suggests he is.

  10. Patricia says:

    Steam, I have to agree with you. I have a feeling in a couple of years we’re going to wake up to newspaper headlines that Ronaldo has signed with a big European club for a massive fee.

  11. denton davey says:

    AWESOME TALENT and great physical gifts plus bravery/courage.

    Comparing players from different eras is pointless; suffice it to say that Ronaldo is the best player on this current team – and that’s saying a lot, considering the talent of Rooney and Tevez and the incredible promise of Anderson.

    Will he stay ? CR7 is a young man with an unlimited future as well as no obvous allegiances. Being a peripheral Portuguese – from Madeira, not the mainland – also has to be factored into any consideration on this subject. For Ronaldo – as opposed to, say, Wayne Rooney – the EPL is not the center of the univerise; nor can anyone believe that the socia life for a young, handsome gazziilionaire in Manchester is “better” than the high life in Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, or London.

    My sense is that Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at UTD as long as the Fergy/Quieroz axis remains in power – from what I gather, these two have been like “godfathers” to him and that is probably the single most important factor in the equation.

  12. Anekin says:

    Wayne Rooney is the better player for Man Utd. His best is yet to come.

  13. Magnus says:

    Scott the Red – I was not judging players on whether or not they made it onto the FIFA World Player of the Year award top 3 list. If you read again, you’ll see I never mention that award.

    I was saying that Ronaldo is today undoubtedly one of the top 3 players in the world alongside Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho (who i my mind is way superior to Kaka). In Cantona’s heyday, there were at least 10 players who were his superior if you look at it objectively, which cannot be said today of Ronaldo.


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