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Tuesday December 05, 2023

Gerrard heaps praise on Ronaldo, calls him ‘The GOAT’

"He still has a lot of football to offer," says Gerrard who credits Portuguese player for increasing sport's popularity in region

By Web Desk
November 20, 2023
Steven Gerrard (left) with Cristiano Ronaldo in this undated picture. — MU
Steven Gerrard (left) with Cristiano Ronaldo in this undated picture. — MU

Amid a seemingly never-ending debate about who is football's greatest of all time player, former English midfielder Steven Gerrard has put his weight behind Cristiano Ronaldo, terming the Portuguese as "The GOAT".

Crediting Ronaldo for motivating him to join the Sadi football league, Gerrard praised the former Manchester United player for playing a significant role in boosting the sport's popularity in the region.

“The arrival of ‘The GOAT’ as we call him [Ronaldo], arriving in January obviously [was] a huge signing,” he said.

“He still had a lot of football to offer. So, from afar, for six months, I was looking in at his [Rondalo's] results, in 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 his [Rondalo'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,” he added.

It is to be noted that Ronaldo signed for Sadi Arabia's Al Nassr club in a deal believed to be worth more than €200 million in December last year. The 37-year-old penned a contract that will take him to June 2025.

Meanwhile, Gerrard joined Al Ettifaq as a manager in July earlier this year.

“The Ettifaq proposal and opportunity were 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," Gerrard said while expressing his views on becoming part of the Saudi football setup.

"That’s the reason why I was very interested in analysing 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 added.

“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.