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24th May 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo has named the toughest defender he’s ever faced

Not Pique, Chiellini or Godin

Wayne Farry

This will surprise a few people

Cristiano Ronaldo has faced and played a number of extremely tough defenders throughout his career. From Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, to Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, the Portuguese star has stood toe-to-toe with the very best.

While the Real Madrid star now consistently bullies and bruises defenders for the fun of it, things weren’t always so easy for him. As a younger player at Old Trafford the-then winger would often find himself on the receiving end of rough treatment.

In a recent interview Ronaldo was asked exactly who he would choose as the toughest of all those bruisers he has played against throughout his career and you’d have been forgiven for thinking it would be one of his foes at Barcelona or Italians such as Georgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli.

But no, when asked that exact question on Spanish TV show El Chiringuito FC, Ronaldo paused for a moment and then, said simply: Ashley Cole.

The two faced off against each other regularly during Ronaldo’s time at United, and famously clashed on a number of occasions, but it’s still surprising to hear Ronaldo name Cole as the toughest defender he’s faced.

It is worth bearing in mind however that Ronaldo faces both Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren this weekend, meaning Cole may very well be usurped by the end of the week.