Fabio Capello says Cristiano Ronaldo is not one of football's three geniuses, despite being 'a champion'.
34-year-old Ronaldo fired Juventus into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League midweek with a sensational hat-trick, but former Juventus and Real Madrid manager Capello insisted he is still not at the level of Lionel Messi, Pele or Diego Maradona.
“Ronaldo’s an extraordinary footballer, but Messi is a genius,” he said to Sky Sport Italia.
“There are three geniuses in football: Pele, Maradona and Messi. Period. Ronaldo is very strong as he lets you win everything, but Messi is a genius and something else.
“I faced Messi when he was 16 years old and I was amazed.
"He did the same things he does today but 20 years younger because he was born a genius. He invents things that others don’t see.
"Ronaldo has made himself a champion, but not a genius.”