Cristiano Ronaldo became a world star at Manchester United before leaving for Real Madrid, where he etched himself into the history books thanks to several Champions League triumphs
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s trophy haul in Spain separates his stints at Real Madrid and Manchester United according to Gerard Pique.
The centre-half is one of the few players to share a pitch as teammates with Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the two greatest players of the modern age. He saw the Portuguese superstar morph into a global phenomenon, producing numbers we’ve rarely seen in front of goal.
Ronaldo, who moved to Manchester in 2003, began as a winger before transitioning into an out and out striker. That switch to a No 9 didn’t happen until he’d made his then world-record move to the Spanish capital in 2009. Ronaldo had helped United win the Champions League, claiming the Ballon d’Or as a result in 2008.
With Los Blancos Ronaldo’s legacy was ensured thanks to the capture of four Champions League titles, including a hat-trick of triumphs which began in 2016. He also claimed LaLiga titles and Copa del Reys – several of which came at the expense of Pique and Barcelona.
The Spaniard was quizzed on which Ronaldo he thought was better and ultimately decided his trophy count had to be factored in. He told the Overlap : “If I think in Manchester he played more as a winger, so he was more focused on the show and the spectacular. In Madrid he started to play as a striker, he was a finisher.
“He scored so many goals and was so important for the success of Real Madrid winning the Champions League and some leagues.” Pique then settled on an answer, concluding: “Difficult to choose. Maybe the Madrid one because he won more titles.”
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Ronaldo opted to return to Old Trafford for a second stint back in the summer, although his homecoming has not gone as planned. He’s continued to find the back of the net but the Manchester outfit will miss out on Champions League football next term, casting the player’s future into doubt.
Pique has previously weighed in on the debate as to who comes out on top in the Messi vs Ronaldo debate, siding with the Argentine whom he played alongside for over a decade. He told BT Sport previously: “We are talking about two of the best players, not just in the world but the history of this sport.
“I always said that Messi has some talent that no one has. For me it’s like Messi is not human but Cristiano is the best of the humans.”