Jefferson Lerma, a Premier League player, has said that he feels Cristiano Ronaldo is the finest player he has ever faced on the pitch out of several skilled players he went up against, including Lionel Messi.
Lerma, a Crystal Palace midfielder, is in his debut season at Selhurst Park and has easily integrated into Roy Hodgson's squad. Since joining the Eagles from Bournemouth after his contract at the Vitality Stadium ended, the 29-year-old has been a regular.
Lerma spoke to TalkSport ahead of his team's Premier League match against Liverpool on Saturday.
Unfazed by the thought of meeting Mohamed Salah, the midfielder discussed the calibre of players he has faced throughout his career, naming Cristiano Ronaldo as the finest.
“I’ve been lucky enough to come up against some of the biggest stars, [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo in their best moments," he said.
“It’s very difficult to say [who’s the best I’ve faced] but probably Cristiano Ronaldo," he added.
Between 2015 and 2018, Jefferson Lerma faced both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi while playing for Levante in La Liga.
He has also met the latter on several occasions at the international level since they frequently meet each other in CONMEBOL matches.
Lerma has appeared in 12 games for Crystal Palace this season in all competitions, missing four due to injury. The veteran midfielder will be crucial in the Eagles' midfield against Liverpool on Saturday.