Diego Maradona may have long since retired from professional football, yet, the Argentinian legend remains one of the few genuinely fascinating characters left in the game.
Never shy to offer an opinion on modern players, that "son of a bitch" Cristiano Ronaldo was top of his list as he spoke freely at the FIFA Club World Cup this week.
The 1986 World Cup winner is the coach of second-division side Fujairah of the United Arab Emirates where the FIFA World Club Cup is taking place. Sitting down with Spanish newspaper AS, Maradona opened up on everything from Gremio to Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Ballon D'or.
What did you think?
Well… bufff. Madrid aren’t playing well. At all. Al Jazira played like Madrid. They got on the ball! And for Madrid, each one of their players wanted to score a goal.
Journalist: What about Gremio in the final?
I’d have a wager on Gremio.
You’d bet on Gremio?
Yeah, sure. They seem a good team.
They’re without Arthur, who is a good player…
But I’d still have a little wager on them. Despite that son of a bitch Ronaldo…
Cristiano Ronaldo says he is the best player in history…
Tell him to stop taking the piss (smiles).
If Cristiano is the best in history, what does that make you?
That’s why I said stop taking the piss.
Is there a slight jealously from Maradona that people might actually consider Cristiano Ronaldo to be one greatest in the history of the sport? Highly unlikely.
Maradona was also forthcoming regarding the constant rotation of the Ballon D'or between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Back in his day, non-European players were not eligible to claim the golden ball,
What do you think of the Ballon d’Or as a prize?
Bufff… As a trophy… It’s very difficult to give just one Ballon d’Or to a player. Because giving one to Cristiano and to Messi… it’s boring now.
Is there nobody else in the elite who deserves it?
You’d have to put Cavani, Mbappé, Ibrahimovic in the fight. I don’t know.
Back in your day, non-European players couldn’t win the Ballon d’Or…
No, no… I would have more than Cristiano and Messi.
They don't make them like the used to anymore. Never change, Diego.
Read Diego Maradona's full interview with AS here.