One of the evergreen arguments in the world of football is who is the better Ronaldo? When Cristiano Ronaldo shot into the limelight in 2005, there was an eerie feeling amongst football fans that the same was strikingly the same with one of the game's all-time greats. Though Cristiano Ronaldo did not immediately tear the records books apart at an early age like Ronaldo Nazario, he has since justified himself as one of the all-time greats too. Some even believe he has now achieved more and surpassed Ronaldo Nazario in the debate for the better player. We will consider the raw statistics from the career of both Ronaldo Nazario and Cristiano Ronaldo below:
Ronaldo Nazario Vs. Cristiano Ronaldo at Club level
Ronaldo Nazario played for a handful of clubs including Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid amongst others. Cristiano Ronaldo on his end has also played for Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. At club level, Cristiano has scored 786 goals so far in over 900 games and made over 250 assists. Ronaldo on his end made 425 clubs appearances scoring 296 goals and providing 59 assists.
Cristiano has won 26 club honours including 5 UEFA Champions League titles and 6 leagues titles across England, Spain and Italy. Ronaldo won 13 club honours winning the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup once and the UEFA Cup once too. Cristiano has won 5 Ballon d'Or titles and 4 European Golden Shoes as compared to Ronaldo's 2 Ballon d'Or titles and 1 European Golden Shoe. In considering the club achievements of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo Nazario, the former beat the Brazilian striker to make more impact.
Ronaldo Nazario Vs. Cristiano Ronaldo at the International level
Ronaldo Nazario represented the Brazilian national team while Cristiano Ronaldo turns out for Portugal. Both players were quite influential with their national teams and both were saddled with the goalscoring responsibility of the team. At the International level, Cristiano has scored 102 goals (the highest of any male footballer in World football) and has provided 38 assists while Ronaldo scored 62 goals and made 12 assists in 98 games. They both played in 4 World Cups with Ronaldo scoring 19 goals ahead of Cristiano's current 17 goals.
Crucially though, Ronaldo won 2 FIFA World Cups, 2 Copa America, 1 FIFA Confederations Cup and Olympic Bronze medal during his time with Brazil. Cristiano on the other hand has won only the Euros and the UEFA Nations League with Portugal. Undoubtedly, Ronaldo Nazario edges Cristiano Ronaldo on the International stage.