'Ronaldo most important player in Real Madrid history' – Butragueno

The Portugal superstar won his fifth Ballon d’Or on Thursday and should be considered every bit as good as Alfredo Di Stefano, the ex-striker has said

Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in Real Madrid’s history alongside Alfredo Di Stefano, according to former striker Emilio Butragueno.

Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer Ronaldo made more history on Thursday when he equalled Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or record of five awards.

Ronaldo retained football’s most prestigious individual prize, named France Football’s player of the year after guiding Madrid to La Liga and Champions League glory in 2016-17, having also moved past 600 career goals.

Butragueno, who was handed his senior debut by club legend Di Stefano in 1984 before going on to win six La Liga titles among others, lauded the achievement of the 32-year-old Portuguese star.

“It’s very difficult to win a Ballon d’Or. I know what I’m talking about! So to win it five times is just amazing,” Butragueno, who never won the award, said.

“We have to congratulate him and enjoy is with him. There is no doubt that alongside Alfredo Di Stefano, he is the most important player in Real Madrid history.

“His motivation standards are endless,” the 54-year-old continued. “So that explains everything for a player who had already won everything.

“He is a big professional that works out hard and has a great ambition. I wish we can keep enjoying with him for many more years.”

Ronaldo was previously in the headlines prior to his Ballon d’Or success – becoming the first player in history to score in all six Champions League group-stage matches on Wednesday.

Already the competition’s all-time leading scorer, Ronaldo netted in Madrid’s 3-2 victory at home to Borussia Dortmund.

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However, Ronaldo has struggled domestically this term, managing just two goals in 10 league appearances for the defending champions.

“People always expect Real Madrid to win and play well. But at the end of the day they are just sportsmen,” Butragueno added.

“Cristiano sometimes cannot score but we always must be aware of how impressive a player he is and how many things he gave us.”