The former Blancos defender believes the two players are incomparable, but feels the Portuguese has more to his game than his former team-mate
By Alberto Pinero
Paco Pavon says Cristiano Ronaldo is a more complete player than Brazil legend Ronaldo.
The 33-year-old, who played with the former Selecao striker at Real Madrid between 2002 and 2007, gave his thoughts on the two players in an exclusive interview with Goal.com and explained how the pair are very different forwards.
“You can’t compare Ronaldo Nazario with Cristiano Ronaldo,” he stressed.
“They are different. Ronaldo was a striker, a real killer. Cristiano is a broader type of forward and plays everywhere. He’s more complete, but Ronnie was so special. Nowadays there are fewer No. 9s, but he was the best.
Madrid face Manchester United on Tuesday in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie and Pavon believes the game could go either way after a tight 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
He added: “The United-Real Madrid clash is very much 50/50.
“Manchester United scored here and then just defended. I hope there will be more gaps at Old Trafford and Real Madrid can take advantage of them. We have the better team but being at Old Trafford equals up the sides.”
Pavon played his part in a thrilling quarter-final clash at Old Trafford back in 2003, with United running out 4-3 winners over los Blancos on the night, only to be beaten 6-5 on aggregate thanks to a stunning hat-trick from his former Brazilian team-mate.
“I have great memories of Old Trafford,” Pavon enthused.
“Ronaldo was excellent that day. We took advantage but [David] Beckham’s two goals scared us a bit.
“But I will never forget Ronaldo’s performance and his magic.
“The Old Trafford fans are so impressive. They always support the team, they represent English football. Spain is different – no better, no worse. I played at Anfield too but I always preferred Old Trafford.”
Pavon also gave his thoughts on the recent emergence of Raphael Varane at the heart of Jose Mourinho’s back four and tipped him for a bright future.
“Varane can reach everything. He’s so well advised and trained. He never has a bad word to say and he always plays well. A good header of the ball, quick and skilful. I really like him.”