Ronaldo still ‘best in the world’ at 36 amid new contract hopes

Paul Macdonald
Paul Macdonald Updated: 20 May 2021 12:26 CEST 2 min read
Ronaldo still ‘best in the world’ at 36 amid new contract hopes

Cristiano Ronaldo showed he is still “the best in the world” with his goal for Juventus against Roma, according to Paulo Fonseca.

Juve did not dominate the Serie A match on Saturday, registering only two shots on target, but emerged with an important 2-0 home victory.

Reports this week suggested Juventus want to extend Ronaldo’s contract until 2023.

Playing his first game since turning 36 this week, Ronaldo opened the scoring after 13 minutes with a precise finish.

He collected a pass from Alvaro Morata at the edge of the area and took just one touch before finding the bottom corner with his left foot.

A second-half own goal from Roger Ibanez secured three points for Juve.

The mooted new deal would see the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker remain in Turin beyond his 38th birthday.

But that is no surprise to Roma boss Fonseca, who believes Ronaldo still belongs in elite company.

“Yes [Ronaldo was much sharper than us in front of goal],” Fonseca said.

“And that is why he is the best in the world.

“A player like him makes the difference. I can’t say that we were to blame for this goal. It is just Ronaldo.

“The statistics are the statistics, but the team that scored goals won the game.

“We may have had more shots, more corners, more possession – but the team that scores, wins.

“There are no moral victories in football, but I am proud of my team. The players showed great character.

“To come here and play with as much courage and conviction as we did gives me a lot of confidence for the future.”

Ronaldo – whose team moved up to third in Serie A – also impressed against Inter this week.

He netted twice to give Juventus a 2-1 lead in their Coppa Italia semi-final.

That tie concludes with the second leg in Turin on Tuesday.

Ronaldo has 16 goals from 16 Serie A starts and one substitute appearance this season.

He has made a magnificent impact since signing from Real Madrid in 2018, scoring 68 league goals and adding 16 assists.

Morata, meanwhile, has seven top-flight assists this season, four of which have been goals he has created for fellow forward Ronaldo.