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Wolves midfielder Neves says Ronaldo is best ever

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves claims Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest footballer to have played the game.

Neves and Ronaldo were part of the victorious Portugal squad that won the Nations League with a 1-0 win over the Netherlands in the final on Sunday.

Ronaldo, who has now helped his country to their two major honours after winning Euro 2016, scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 success over Switzerland in the semi-final and is one of the most decorated players of all time.

The 34-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar has won a record-equalling five Ballon d’Or awards – the most for a European player. He is the first to win four European Golden Boots, and he was the first to win the Champions League five times, while he has won 29 major trophies and over 150 caps, scoring over 700 career goals for clubs and country.

Neves is 12 years Ronaldo’s junior, but has had the privilege to play with the national team captain on the international stage this season, and is in no doubt that the one-time Sporting Lisbon forward is the best.

Asked if Ronaldo was the best player ever, the 22-year-old said: “Of course, yes. For me, he’s the best ever, and I’m a really lucky guy to play with him.”

Neves added: “I can’t see anyone better than him. Cristiano is the best. He showed that in the semi-finals and again (in the 1-0 final win against the Netherlands). We are lucky to have him in our team.”

Two records Neves has but Ronaldo doesn’t is that of the youngest Portuguese player to play in the Champions League, which the Wolves man was when he came on as substitute for Porto in their 2-1 win over Athletico Bilbao on October 21, 2014, aged 17 years, five months and eight days.

And back in October 2015, Neves became the youngest captain in Champions League history, in Porto’s win over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Neves’s opinion will disappoint fans of Lionel Messi, with debates the world over regularly raging as to whether the Argentina international is better than Ronaldo.