Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves has hailed his international team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as the greatest player of all time, after the Juventus man guided his country to Nations League success on Sunday night.
The reigning European champions emerged victorious from the four-team tournament last week after beating the Netherlands 1-0 in the showpiece final, thanks to Goncalo Guedes’ second-half strike.
While Ronaldo gave more of a selfless performance against the Dutch, he put in another individual masterclass in the semi-final, when his hat-trick helped Portugal beat Switzerland 3-1.
It means that with Ronaldo at the helm Portugal have won two major international honours in three years - their only major honours to date.
Often exonerated for his club performances, Ronaldo’s success for his country will undoubtedly help cement his status as one of the planet’s best ever players, perhaps even more so than Lionel Messi, who is yet to win any major silverware on the international stage.
For that reason, Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves feels the former Manchester United and Real Madrid attacker is the world’s greatest ever player.
“Cristiano is the best,” he said, as quoted by the Express and Star. “He showed that in the semi-finals and again. We are lucky to have him in our team.”
Asked whether he thought Ronaldo was the best of all time, Neves responded: “Of course, yes. For me, he’s the best ever, and I’m a really lucky guy to play with him.”
As well as Ronaldo’s international triumphs, his list of accolades include five Champions League winners’ medals and domestic titles in Spain, England and Italy.
However, it is the Portuguese star’s individual success which set him apart from the world’s other premier players - namely the five Ballon d’Ors he has claimed.
Along with Messi, no one was won the award more times than the Juve no.7 and after his success with Portugal there have been suggestions that Ronaldo could well win the trophy again for a record-breaking sixth time.
However, the 34-year-old failed to be drawn on the subject when asked after Portugal’s triumph over the Netherlands.
Next up for Ronaldo is a return to club action with Juventus. However, with the Italian season not set to start until the end of August, he can look forward to a few weeks off before returning to pre-season training.