Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed former Arsenal, Chelsea and England full back Ashley Cole as the toughest defender he's ever had to face.
Ronaldo came up against Cole on a regular basis in the early stages of his career while playing under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. The Portuguese superstar joined the Red Devils from Sporting CP in 2003, having impressed the Scotsman in a previous Champions League encounter between the two sides.
Ronaldo spent six years at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009, back when the Premier League trophy was contested mainly between United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Cole and Arsenal triumphed in the 2003/04 season, before the 107-cap England star moved across London to Chelsea, where he secured league titles in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons, ahead of Ronaldo's United.
Speaking to Spanish talk show El Chiringuito TV (via the Daily Mail), Ronaldo recalled his early duels with Cole, when asked by the presenter to name his toughest defensive opponent.
Cole controversially signed for Chelsea in 2006 from London rivals Arsenal. He made a total of 229 appearances for the club before he left to join Roma as a free agent in 2014.
The former England international spent two seasons in Rome and then left to Los Angeles in 2016 to play for MLS side LA Galaxy, where the 37-year-old is still playing.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, has continued to dominate European football. The 33-year-old has scored 43 goals for Real Madrid this season and will be looking to further add to his tally on Saturday when Los Blancos face Liverpool in the Champions League final in Kiev.