That is according to Juventus legend Antonio Cabrini, who believes the 34-year-old’s leadership skills mean he is better than Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo and Messi are widely acknowledged as the biggest stars in the game after exclusively dominating the Ballon d’Or between 2008 and 2017 before Luka Modric claimed last year’s award.
The Juventus and Barcelona stars are both renowned for their incredible goalscoring ability but whereas the former is tall and strong the latter is nimble and technical.
It is one of the great debates in football over who comes out on top, but Cabrini sides with Ronaldo because he is a “leader”.
“Obviously the last 10 years in club football has been focused on the rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo,” he told reporters including Starsport at a Betfair event at the Allianz Stadium.
“My personal opinion is that Ronaldo is better than Messi but mainly in terms of leadership. Ronaldo has proved himself to be a real leader a lot of times – and not only on the pitch. He is a leader in his life as well as in sports.
“So with all the respect and admiration, we have for a player like Messi, there have been a few instances in his career that he came up short.
“But we are speaking about two great players, I think we can all agree on that.”
The argument over where Ronaldo and Messi rank in the all-time greats is another debate but Cabrini is unsure over the merits of that argument.
“In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense at all because football has changed too much in the last 30 years,” he said.
“Fans will always be curious to compare but the game has changed too much for it to make sense.
“This is a habit we have a lot in Italy, as soon as a young guy is starting his career, for instance a left-back, if he has a couple of good matches journalists call me and say ‘this is the new Cabrini, do you agree?’ I always reply ‘let’s speak about it in ten years.’”