Madrid: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had words of high praise Saturday for star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, calling him the “world’s greatest player and one of the best of all time”.
“This year, we’ve put together a simply spectacular team with a player who’s marking an era at Real Madrid,” he said at a ceremony in which badges were given out to club members.
“We are honoured and proud to enjoy the best, Cristiano Ronaldo, who from this year forward will always be a ‘Madrista,'” Perez added, referring to a recent contract extension that will keep the 28-year-old Portuguese international at the Bernabeu through 2018.
“Today, no one can doubt that we’re seeing the world’s best player and one of the best of all time.”
Ronaldo was voted the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008 and also has finished second in the FIFA Ballon d’Or voting the past two years, finishing behind FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi on both occasions.
He is currently out of action while recovering from a hamstring injury.
Perez also hailed Real Madrid’s coaching staff, calling manager Carlo Ancelotti “a winner” who has what it takes to lead the Spanish powerhouse and has the “inestimable aid of (assistant coach) Zinedine Zidane”, who starred for Los Blancos from 2001 to 2006.
Ancelotti took the helm of Real Madrid this summer and the club also recently brought on board Welsh winger Gareth Bale, who Perez predicted would soon show he deserves to be mentioned among the world’s best.
Real Madrid has already qualified for the knockout stage of this season’s UEFA Champions league tournament and currently is third in the La Liga standings behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.