Fabio Capello claims that while Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘extraordinary and a champion’, the Juventus forward is not one of football’s three ‘geniuses’.
Ronaldo’s hat-trick fired Juve into the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, but Capello insists the No 7 does not possess the natural flair of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Pele.
“Ronaldo’s an extraordinary footballer, but Messi is a genius,” the former Bianconeri boss told Sky Sport Italia.
“There are three geniuses in football: Pele, Maradona and Messi. Period. Ronaldo is very strong as he lets you win everything, but Messi is a genius and something else.
“I faced Messi when he was 16 years old and I was amazed. He did the same things he does today but 20 years younger because he was born a genius.
“He invents things that others don’t see. Ronaldo has made himself a champion, but not a genius.”