Antonio Conte makes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi comparison after Manchester United beat Tottenham

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the game’s greatest ever players after watching him steal the show at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo scored a sensational hat-trick to inspire Manchester United to a 3-2 win against Spurs in the Premier League, moving them back up to fourth place in the process.

It ended a run of one goal in 10 games in 2022 for Ronaldo, but his quality was never in doubt for Conte and he hailed the 37-year-old’s ability to still be at the top of his game at this stage of his career.

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According to FIFA, Ronaldo is now the highest-scoring player in the history of men’s football and Conte hailed him and Messi as the best players of this era, on a par with the likes of Diego Maradona and Pele in the history of the game.

“It was an amazing performance from Cristiano, but I know him very well and it’s not a surprise for me,” Conte said.

“We’re talking about a player that with Messi they are the best players in the world right now, with Maradona and Pele [in history] in my opinion, we’re talking about a player who is decisive and in the moment the team needed him he’s always present.”

Conte highlighted Ronaldo’s five goals in the Champions League group stage as an example of his ability to produce when it really matters.

“I remember very well the Champions League group for Manchester United and he was decisive to go to the next round,” he said.

“He’s a player who feels this type of game. Tonight we didn’t discover him. A great compliment to him because to arrive at this age with this form and mentality and this desire to win you have to give all the great compliments to your opponent.”

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