Mikael Silvestre explains why Ronaldo was the best he ever played with


Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo has been hailed as the best player Mikael Silvestre ever played with.

That is despite the Frenchman also playing with the striker’s Portuguese namesake at Old Trafford.

Silvestre and Ronaldo crossed paths when the defender spent a year at the San Siro.

He moved to Manchester United in 1999 but the mercurial striker left his mark with Silvestre conceding he never knew what the Brazilian was going to produce.

Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine he said: “Ronaldo was the best I ever played with. Obviously he was gifted technically and physically, but his repertoire of tricks was out of this world.

Ronaldo spent four years at Inter Milan, although that spell was blighted by injuries

“You can identify most strikers with two or three tricks they try constantly, and as a defender you can kind of guess what they will do next. But with him? That was impossible.

“He had so many technical moves and he could invent new skills, so you couldn’t predict which direction he was going in or what he’d do. He was a genius.”

Four years after leaving Inter Silvestre would come up against Ronaldo when he was at Real Madrid.

The striker scored a hat-trick in a Champions League knockout tie at Old Trafford and subsequently received a standing ovation from the entire stadium.

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But Silvestre also had special praise for Ronaldo’s fellow Ballon d’Or winner Roberto Baggio.

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He added: “I was also really impressed by Roberto Baggio. If it wasn’t for his multiple knee injuries, he would have been considered one of the greatest of all time; he could read the game like no one else and was technically gifted.

“He could do anything with the ball. Why did we come so low in Serie A? Ronaldo got injured, which had an impact, and then there were several big coaching changes.”

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