KEY POINTS

  • Liverpool legend Jose Enrique named Cristiano Ronaldo the second best player in the world
  • Enrique admitted that Ronaldo was the toughest he ever faced in the Premier League
  • Enrique said he was never scared of facing Ronaldo

A Liverpool legend has said that Cristiano Ronaldo is only the second best player in the world.

Before “CR7” conquered Italy, he was Manchester United’s most lethal striker. Under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo emerged as one of the greatest players to ever grace the pitch. In fact, many believe that he’s the best in the world, but this opinion isn't shared by former Liverpool full-back Jose Enrique.

In a recent interview with Tribuna (via Goal.com), Enrique talked about some of the toughest opponents he has ever faced in his career. According to the 34-year-old, there have been an array of competitive players during his time in the Premier League, but nothing topped the toughness of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

But even though Enrique hailed Ronaldo as his toughest competition, he only ranked the Portuguese as the “second” best player in the world.

“I have to say Cristiano [Ronaldo] – the second best player in the world!” Enrique said.

“I loved [Didier] Drogba, he was unbelievable. But I usually faced right wingers and Cristiano was brilliant,” he continued.

Indeed, Ronaldo’s presence in the pitch alone already intimidates the opposing team. However, Enrique said that he was never scared of facing the best players in the sport. And as for playing against Ronaldo, the Liverpool legend said it should always be all or nothing.

“I was never scared. If you’re scared, you’re not ready to play for a team like Liverpool. That’s the reality. You want to play against big players. When I played against Cristiano. You know, I always say to young players that when you face a guy like Cristiano, you have nothing to lose,” Enrique pointed out.

“If he beats you one-on-one, it’s Cristiano, you know. But if you do well, you do well against one of the best players in the world. You have to be extra motivated. You have to love playing against big players,” he added.

Enrique also looked back at some of his most memorable moments with Liverpool. He mentioned that Lionel Messi was the “best player in history.”

Even to this day, Ronaldo still presents a strong case to become the greatest soccer player of all time. However, his ultimate rival Messi has also been on the same path. Undeniably, the pair will always be put on the same footing, and more and more of their past opponents will talk about their dominance. But still, the greatest of all time debate is unlikely to end.

One's a crowd: the stands were empty but Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo drew a TV audience of more than 8 million when they returned to action in the Italian cup One's a crowd: the stands were empty but Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo drew a TV audience of more than 8 million when they returned to action in the Italian cup Photo: AFP / Miguel MEDINA