MADRID - Real Madrid forward Cristiano
Ronaldo is the true heir of Alfredo Di Stefano, not his
Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, according to Real director general
World Player of the Year Messi was compared to Real great Di
Stefano by Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores on
Saturday after the Argentina forward netted his fourth hat-trick
of the season in a 3-0 win over Atletico.
Ronaldo, the world's most expensive player, scored twice in
Real's 4-1 home win over Real Sociedad on Sunday and Valdano, a
former Real and Argentina forward, said the Portuguese was the
Di Stefano of the 21st century.
"It is not Messi, it is Cristiano Ronaldo, who what is more
wears the same shirt," Valdano said in a television interview.
"He is a very important player who is set to make history at
this club," he added.
"We wouldn't swap Cristiano for anyone, although one must
recognise that both he and Messi are two very high-quality
players whom it is a privilege to have in La Liga."
Barca set a new record for consecutive league wins of 16 on
Saturday, eclipsing the mark reached in the 1960/61 season by
the Real team that included Di Stefano, considered one of the
greatest players of all time.
Now 84, he helped them win the first five European Cups
between 1956 and 1960, scoring 418 goals in 510 matches, and
later became the club's coach.
Ronaldo's double against Sociedad drew him level with Messi
on a phenomenal 24 goals at the top of the La Liga scoring
charts with 22 matches of the season played.
The pair are set to renew their rivalry on the international
stage on Wednesday when Portugal play Argentina in a friendly in
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