Roberto Carlos, a Brazilian legend, described his countryman Ronaldo Nazario as “unique” and insists that today’s greats like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be compared to the winner of the 2002 World Cup.
“Ronaldo was the best in training. There’s never going to be another Ronaldo ‘Fenomeno’. Not Neymar, Cristiano or Messi – Ronaldo is unique,” Carlos told Goal.
Carlos played for club and country alongside Ronaldo, winning the World Cup for Brazil in 2002, and also enjoying success in Real Madrid during the ‘Galactico’ era.
From 2002 to 2007 Ronaldo scored 104 goals in 177 matches for Real Madrid.
During his career, Ronaldo won a joint record of three World Player of the Year titles, but that mark has since been outstripped by both Messi and the Portuguese Ronaldo, who have won the Ballon d’Or six and five times.
Carlos is in no doubt, thus, that the Brazilian Ronaldo remains “the best” even ahead of today’s world’s greatest players:
“I think it was harder to score goals in our generation. It was more physical back then and less protected to attackers, but Ronaldo could do it all.
“I knew how incredible he was when he arrived but there weren’t many people in Madrid. He surprised a lot of people. I remember eighty thousand people were very happy and pleasantly surprised by him.”