Sir Bobby Charlton, perhaps Cristiano Ronaldo’s greatest admirer

The expression of nostalgia on Charlton’s face, certainly caused by George Best’s death and other events, is just commencing to disappear… he looks more like the satisfied living legend he’s got to be. But who is behind this change of mood?

Manchester United’s number 7, Cristiano Ronaldo, is a shining star at the Theatre of Dreams. His remarkable improvement since joining the Reds from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 has earned him a multitude of individual awards and his efforts have led the renowned English club back to wining ways.

His outstanding consistent form has captivated Red hero Bobby Charlton who now considers the 23 year old Portuguese player better than Georges Best.

This statement came much to the anger of Manchester United’s former midfielder Johnny Giles who strongly rejected it:

“The only difference between the two players is that Ronaldo is certainly faster and stronger than George.

“I never saw Best indulge himself. I saw Ronaldo indulging himself at Celtic Park,” Giles retorted before adding: “Beating three men and scoring is entertainment. Ronaldo does it occasionally but on several other occasions, he is indulging himself. He certainly doesn’t entertain me.

“Nobody could ever describe Ronaldo as being better than Best,” he concluded.

However, these arguments don’t convince Bobby Charlton who is proud to welcome Ronaldo as a Manchester United football great.

Charlton and Denis Law handed the Golden Ball over to newly crowned Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday night, before Manchester United’s Champions League game against Aalborg.

Both men – also former Ballon d’Or winners along with the late George Best – were delighted to live such an historic moment in Ronaldo’s life. And Charlton had quite a lot of positive statements towards the young Portuguese man before the short ceremony:

“It won’t be the last one he wins,” Charlton declared. “He is a fantastic player – head and shoulders above anyone else last year.

“I have had to shake his hand more than once for various awards he has won over the past year, and he deserves every one.

“He has the world ahead of him for the next 10 years.

“I get excited by watching him. If you are struggling, he can turn a game with one bit of skill.

“He used to be over the top, but he has learned now. All kids love players who do something special, my grandson included. That is why Ronaldo gets compared to George Best so often – everyone should emulate him.”

Controversy is certainly part of Cristiano Ronaldo’s personality, but even this may not prevent him from becoming what Charlton sees in the him and predicts: the greatest Manchester United number 7 player.

Written by:Angela Asante

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