Cristiano Ronaldo registered 446 points out of a maximum 480 to claim his first ever exhilarating Ballon d’Or, after serving United by netting in 42 goals in 49 appearances, and aiding the English giants to acquire both the Premier League and Champions League titles during the 2007-08 campaign.
However, disregarding the Portuguese’s invaluable procurement, a few didn’t consider the talisman to be the world’s best footballer. And one of those notable figures happens to be a fellow Portuguese, Jose Mourinho, who was in charge of Inter Milan then.
The current United gaffer had purportedly professed a few weeks posterior to the No.7’s widely remarked milestone that he believed there were three other players better than the then 23-year-old, according to GiveMeSport.
The renowned tactician had reportedly proclaimed: “[Cristiano] Ronaldo is a good player but he’s certainly not the best. He deserved the Ballon d’Or because his team won the Champions League and Premier League, he played and he scored. But for me, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is better.”
The ex-Chelsea coach operated together with the Swede even back then, and they have maintained a sound relationship between, as the Portuguese was tempted to re-sign the robust striker to Man Utd the previous year.
Zlatan scored 22 goals during the 2007-08 campaign, an evidently lesser figure compared to the current Real Madrid talisman. Nonetheless, it was the Swede who enticed recognition from the remarkable gaffer.
Jose had further added: “Zlatan is in love with football, he has a big heart and he is emotionally aggressive. When I made him play many matches in a row, for the Italian football world I was doing what destroys children. But what I was trying to do was build a team with mental strength and he is in the perfect condition to win the Ballon d’Or. He should win it.”
Furthermore, Ibrahimovic was apparently not the only player that the Portuguese acknowledged better than the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.
The manager had also proclaimed: “When I think about how a player should be what comes to mind is players like Kaka, Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi, who is a phenomenon and in two or three years will win the Ballon d’Or.”
Written by Hritwik NE
Passionate writer, coated in Blue.