Former Chelsea left-back Wayne Bridge has admitted that he ‘didn’t mind’ playing against ex-Manchester United star and football icon Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, who is now at Juventus, joined United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 as a teenager and under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, rose to prominence at Old Trafford.
In six years at the club between 2003 and 2009, the Portugal international won a plethora of major honours including three Premier League titles as well as an FA Cup and Champions League.
Along the way, Ronaldo registered 118 goals in 292 games and claimed the Ballon d’Or in 2008, before going on to enjoy huge success with Real MadridAlong the way, Ronaldo registered 118 goals in 292 games and claimed the Ballon d’Or in 2008, before going on to enjoy huge success with Real Madrid
But when discussing his toughest opponents, Bridge talked up the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Aaron Lennon and Joe Cole, while he feels that he could ‘stick with’ Ronaldo and ‘always did okay’ when facing him.
‘There’s two that really stand out, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Aaron Lennon,’ Bridge told bettingexpert.com.
‘They’re very small so have a low centre of gravity so they’re very quick over five yards. I thought I was quite quick but they were just rapid over the first five yards. You always had to stay switched on and try and predict where they were going as it was always a battle with those two.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo is the obvious choice but I didn’t play against him at his peak but he was so quick and powerful. I always had good battles with Kieron Dyer as well, he was a player where we’d just cancel each other out. We never got much change out of each other me and him.
‘When I played against Joe Cole, if I was ever less than 100 per cent I’d know about it because he can twist and turn you inside out.
‘I didn’t mind playing against Ronaldo. You always had to be switched on. He loved a step-over and was very skilful. He could sometimes make you look stupid, he was also very quick.
‘He wasn’t as quick as me over the first few yards, I always felt that I could stick with him and I always felt I did okay against him. It was always at the back of my mind that he was going to try and nutmeg me here or twist me about four times until I fall over.’
Another player that was tough was [Riyad] Mahrez,’ Bridge added.
‘I played against him when I was at Reading and it was towards the end of my career, I had a lot of knee trouble and he twisted me inside and out – which I obviously blamed on my knee. Looking on now to see what he’s achieved it’s brilliant.’