New Delhi: Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been voted as the greatest ever player to have played in the English Premier League (EPL). In an online poll conducted by Usurv for Press Association Sport, the former Manchester United got the better of Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona.
Ronaldo, who turned 30 yesterday, arrived in England in 2003 as a 18-year-old talent and instantly became a favourite at Old Trafford with his relentless pursuit for perfection. His hard work and dedication found a perfect match in Alex Ferguson.
In his six seasons at United, Ronaldo won three league titles, a Champions League and an FA Cup. And in 2008, the former Sporting Lisbon player won first his three FIFA world player of the year awards as a United player.
He was also part of the Premier League Team of the Year for four successive seasons in 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008–09.
Always known as one of the best finishers in the game, he scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for the Red Devils, and was often compare with legendary George Best. With ever increasing stature and fame, he left United for Real Madrid in 2009 for a then world-record fee of 80 million pounds. And ever since, he has been touted as one of the two best players, along with his bete noire Lionel Messi.
Arsenal legend Henry was second in the list, ahead of two United legends Giggs and Cantona. The poll also had other luminaries of the game and league, Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Gerrard, Alan Shearer, Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira.
The EPL was formed in 1992, making it arguably the most famous league in the world. It is the top-flight league in England.