Friday December 12th, 2014

Former Spanish national team captain Raul said Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo could be the greatest player ever if he continues his standout play, he told the BBC World Football show.

Raul, who signed to play with the New York Cosmos next season, was also a star for Real Madrid during his career. 

While he included Argentina's Lionel Messi in the discussion, he alluded to the notion that Ronaldo could be considered the greatest ever if he puts a few more years in.

"I think now he is at the top, and if continues the same way, he could be the best of all time," Raul, 37, told the BBC World Football show.

"I think Cristiano and Lionel Messi are two of the best players in the history of the game. Are they better than Pele or Diego Maradona?

"They are at the top, but I think it is difficult in football to say who is first or second or third. But if Cristiano continues for five years..."

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Ronaldo is on pace to break Raul's all-time Madrid club record of 323 goals, and Raul is more or less just waiting for it to happen. 

"I am sure Ronaldo will beat it and I will be happy for him," he said.

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In 13 games this season for Real Madrid, Ronaldo has scored 23 goals with eight assists and is the reigning Ballon d'Or winner as FIFA's Player of the Year. 

Real Madrid has won 19 straight matches in all competitions and Almeria on Saturday in La Liga action.

- Jack Jorgensen

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