Cristiano Ronaldo is football’s equivalent to basketball legend Michael Jordan, according to Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.
NBA icon Jordan won six championships across two stints with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and was crowned MVP on five occasions.
By comparison, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo has clinched seven league titles in three different countries, most recently helping Juventus to back-to-back Scudetto.
And Lingard, who was part of United’s academy during Ronaldo’s time at Old Trafford, believes the Portugal international is football’s answer to Jordan.
“I have to say, Cristiano Ronaldo,” he told Sky Sports when asked to pick a footballer who can be likened to Jordan.
“Everything he has achieved in his career. He has been at plenty of clubs and won many trophies. I believe he is a real icon of football, Michael Jordan of football.”
Lingard never played in the same side as Ronaldo in a competitive game but was on opposing sides to the forward in United’s 2-1 Champions League win against Juve last season.
But the England international insists the former Real Madrid superstar has not posed him too many problems in the years since he left United.
“I have played against him a few times. Did he give me trouble? No, he wasn’t too bad, to be fair,” he said.
“There was one game in pre-season where he came on and you could see the skills and the qualities that he brought.
“When he first came to Manchester United, I was 11 or 12. We did a skills DVD and it was him teaching us skills which was good.
“That was the first time I had seen him. He was young and skinny when he came to the club.”
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