Former English footballer Steven Gerrard has heaped praise on legendary forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Gerrard believes that Ronaldo is the greatest player of all-time and the latter’s arrival in Saudi Arabia also motivated the former Liverpool star to start coaching in the Gulf state.
“The arrival of ‘The GOAT’ as we call him, Cristiano (Ronaldo), him arriving in January obviously (was) a huge signing,” the former Liverpool midfielder said in an interview with the Saudi Pro League.
“He still had a lot of football to offer. So, from afar, for six months, I was looking in at Cristiano Ronaldo’s results, at the league, watching some games and watching some highlights. I think from that moment, the league around the world had become a very popular talking point for everyone. After Cristiano’s arrival, even more big-name signings, talents and skill sets were joining the league.
“At the time it coincided with me being out of the game and looking for my next opportunity, so I was fascinated from afar looking in, and when my agent brought a couple of opportunities in the gulf area at the time, I was fascinated to explore them.”
Ronaldo signed for Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia, the club announced, in a deal believed to be worth more than 200 million euros in December last year. The 37-year-old penned a contract which will take him to June 2025.
Meanwhile, Gerrard joined Al-Ettifaq as manager in July earlier this year.
“The Ettifaq proposal and opportunity was the most exciting for me because I’ve signed up to a club where the board are very passionate. They understand where the club is at, they understand it’s something that’s going to need building, and it’s going to take time. That’s the reason why I was very interested to analyse this one, because in my job you need time. Especially when a club has finished seventh in the league and so many points behind the top four. That’s not an easy fix; it’s not something you fix in a week, a month, or six months,” he said.
“It’s a project to build on the pitch, which is obviously the priority, but also a lot of things needed to change around it to give the first team the support it needs,” he concluded.