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Dunphy compares Cristiano Ronaldo to Pele following Ballon d'Or win

The Irish soccer pundit was previously one of the player’s biggest critics.

Dunphy was previously a critic of Ronaldo.
Dunphy was previously a critic of Ronaldo.

IRISH FOOTBALL PUNDIT Eamon Dunphy has compared Cristiano Ronaldo to Pele following the Real Madrid star’s Ballon d’Or win last night.

Speaking on RTE’s Game On, Dunphy said: “He’s come on in the last two years to become a very great player. Pele presented the award, and he’s up there with Pele now.

“In the seven days that Eusebio, another great Portuguese player, passed away, I think it’s appropriate and poignant, and he was clearly extremely moved to receive this award.”

The former Millwall and Ireland player was previously a vocal critic of Ronaldo, arguing that the player’s attitude and petulance was preventing him from becoming a great player.

However, Dunphy believes that Ronaldo has since matured and succeeded in fulfilling his potential as a result, saying he “cut out the simulation in his game” and adding:

“It reminds us how great some of the players in the modern era are… Overall, his behaviour has changed, [as has] his demeanour and his contribution to the team.

“To be a great player, you need other things, and he has acquired them, which is delightful, for somebody who was a critic of his for many years.

“They’re the standards we should set for great players and I wouldn’t make any apology for having criticised him in the past.”

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Paul Fennessy

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