to do for Ronaldo to become legend, says Pele
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[January 14, 2014]
PARIS (Reuters) — FIFA Ballon d'Or
winner Cristiano Ronaldo must continue to maintain his exceptional high
standards in order to be classed among the sport's legends, according to
Brazil great Pele who compared the Portuguese to Eusebio.
Portugal and Real Madrid forward Ronaldo beat Argentine's Lionel
Messi and France's Franck Ribery to claim the prestigious award for
the second time on Monday.
"To me the last true great was (France playmaker Zinedine) Zidane.
He stayed at the same very high level for at least 10 years," Pele,
who was awarded a honorary Ballon d'Or, told France Football
magazine on Tuesday.
Ronaldo is on the right path, though, and reminded the three-times
World Cup winner of former Portugal striker Eusebio, the top scorer
at the 1966 World Cup, who died earlier this month at the age of 71.
"Today Messi and Ronaldo are above the rest. Ronaldo reminds me a
bit of Eusebio, he is well bred. He has the elegance and the
creativity of the great players," Pele said.
Winning the World Cup used to have greater significance in the
voting for the Ballon d'Or but the success of Ronaldo and Messi, who
won the award from 2009-12, proved that was no longer true,
according to the Brazilian.
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"It is perhaps less important than it used to be when I was
playing," Pele of the showpiece tournament that the duo will
look to win for the first time later this year.
"I'm not saying it is not essential to win the World Cup but the
Champions League now has the same considerable impact
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Patrick Johnston)
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