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Michel Salgado Talks Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Rafa Benitez and More

Published by Bleacher Report on Fri, 18 Sep 2015

Real Madrids iconic former right-back Michel Salgado has suggested the clubs current talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is under-appreciated when put in direct comparison to Lionel Messi.Salgado was speaking at an event introducing La Liga ambassadors and compared the Portuguese superstar to his current Barcelona rival and the Brazilian striker Ronaldo, who played alongside Salgado during his playing days at the Santiago Bernabeu, per Marca:Ronaldo Nazario was, without doubt, the best striker I've ever seen. What I saw him do was spectacular, and that was having come to the club after a World Cup and having been sidelined for two years before that with a knee injury.Cristiano is different, he's a self-made player. His work ethic is spectacular and what he's doing is impressive, equalling Messi's stats and winning Ballons d'Or. I don't think people appreciate Ronaldo's value and the effort he puts into achieving what he achieves.After a slow start to the season in the opening couple of weeks, Ronaldo has burst into life in Los Blancos last two matches. Hes scored a staggering eight goals in wins over Espanyol in La Liga and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, serving up a timely reminder of his incredible prowess in front of goal.Ronaldo became Reals all-time top scorer in league matches with his quintet of strikes against Espanyol. As noted here by Bleacher Report UK, its a mark he surpassed in incredibly quick time:Cristiano Ronaldo broke Real Madrids La Liga scoring record in 347 games fewer than Raul. 347. pic.twitter.com/ZEYrROokwV Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 15, 2015In addition, Ronaldos hat-trick against Shakhtar moved him three clear of Messi in the race to become the Champions Leagues most prolific player. But thats a duel that is likely to continue for years to come yet.So while many may point to Messi as the finest player in the world, you could certainly argue Ronaldo should receive a little more reverence than he does currently. Two all-time greats in the same era will always have to share the spotlight, though, meaning there could be an argument that the Barca man should probably be a little more heralded himself.Indeed, sports journalist Rafael Hernandez suggested that Ronaldos goals, while they may be many in number, are often not that significant:If Real are to achieve success this season, you suspect some key goals from the Portuguese will be central to their charge. But Salgado also paid tribute to the defensive structure of the team, which seems to be improving under new manager Rafael Benitez: He's trying to tighten the team up a little more at the back and to get Bale to produce more for Real Madrid than he did last year by tweaking his position.Theres no denying Ronaldo is a phenomenal goalscorer. He may not be the daring, tricky wide player who thrilled so many during his time at Manchester United and early days at Real, but hes adjusted his game into becoming the best out-and-out poacher in the world.The next phase of the Portugueses career is going to be an intriguing one. Slowly he seems to be moving further up the pitch into a role as a central striker, while Messi is likely to drop deeper in order to be more involved with general play. So while the two will continue to be compared, its likely theyll become even further removed in terms of playing style.
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