When Ronaldo Named the Toughest Opponent He Has Ever Faced in His Career

When Ronaldo Named the Toughest Opponent He Has Ever Faced in His Career

Isaac Darko
September 26, 2023 at 8:58 PM
  • Cristiano Ronaldo once revealed the most challenging opponent he had ever faced
  • He had numerous clashes with defenders over the course of his illustrious career
  • The Portuguese icon is one of the most effective goal-scorers in the modern game

Al-Nassr star, Cristiano Ronaldo once revealed the most formidable opponent he had encountered throughout his extensive career across the top tiers of Europe.

The 38-year-old, currently plying his trade in Saudi Arabia, engaged in countless battles with defenders during his stints at Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Juventus.

In the early stages of his career, Ronaldo's direct running, quick footwork, and distinctive dribbling style made him a nightmare for defenders across the continent.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Ashley Cole, toughest opponent
Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the Saudi Pro League this season with nine goals. Photos by Fayez Nureldine
Source: Getty Images

However, in recent years, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has transformed himself into a complete centre-forward.

Ronaldo has netted nine goals this season in the Saudi Pro League already as well as providing five assists, per Transfermarkt. In total since joining Al-Nassr, he has scored 23 times.

Ronaldo names his toughest opponent

Ronaldo's adaptation to different roles and positions on the field has exposed him to a diverse array of defenders and playing styles.

However, one Premier League defender has consistently stood out and apparently left an indelible mark.

This exceptional individual is none other than Ashley Cole, who is widely acclaimed as the best left-back of the Premier League era thanks to his outstanding contributions for both Arsenal and Chelsea.

Ronaldo crossed paths with Cole during his spells with the two Premier League clubs and also when competing against the England national team with Portugal.

Following his retirement from football, the iconic left-back transitioned into a coaching career, serving in roles with England's U21 side, plus at Derby and Everton.

Reflecting on his battles on the pitch, Ronaldo shared his admiration for Cole in an interview with Coach Mag back in 2016, via Sky Sports:

"Over the years, I had some incredible duels with Ashley Cole. He never allows you a moment's respite. He was such a tenacious player when he was at his peak, quick, tough in the tackle. You knew it would never be an easy game."

Ronaldo's Al-Nassr down rivals Al-Ahli

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Anderson Talisca and Ronaldo both recording braces as Al-Nassr claimed victory in an electrifying seven-goal showdown against Al-Ahli.

The Knights of Najd, who had previously secured six consecutive wins leading up to the highly-anticipated clash, continued their impressive streak with another win.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)
Cristiano RonaldoWorld