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Who was a greater player?

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· *the drum drum*
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Define to me what greatness means to you, and I will tell you which of them is the greater player for you.

For me, Ronaldo. You see very few athletes like him in your lifetime across all sports, and he was perhaps the most perfect specimen there had ever been in football at his peak.
 

· *the drum drum*
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Just to push back a little against the consensus, it's clear most people preffer peak R9 over peak Zizou, but do the injuries not count as a minus when we compare their legacies? R9 and Ronaldinho seem to be 2 players that allot of people judge solely on their prime.
Injuries prevented Ronaldo from being as dominant as he could have been.

But they also showed us the true depth of his skillset. He was able to remain amongst the best footballers of his time despite losing his God given physical abilities.

And all in all, I don't think Zidane won so much more or performed better over so much longer than Ronaldo did. He just finished on a higher note.
 

· *the drum drum*
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The biggest ‘what if’ for me is Baggio. We didn’t even get to see him play a single professional match (at the top level I mean) before he was permanently changed by injury.

But you’re right, the what if line of thought is always filled with romance and optimism.

In the case of Baggio, I doubt he’d have found Buddhism the way he did if he wasn’t injured and as a result highly depressed. We might’ve actually ended up with a lesser version in that alternate reality.
 

· *the drum drum*
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This is pretty much why I would say Zidane. The longevity seems less tied to steroids, whereas with R9 it's a question mark.
Any suspicions around Ronaldo are purely speculative, whereas Zidane was caught right in the middle of Juventus’ ‘creatine’ saga in the mid/late 90s just as he was really starting to come to prominence.

Now anabolic substances versus creatine is really not any comparison, but I think we all know that ‘creatine’ wasn’t actually ‘creatine’ and it was all a way to wash away a very legitimate case of illegitimate substance abuse. It was extremely common in Italy especially in the 90s.

But yes, one of them was factually caught up in a scandal. The other just suspected of it because he is a physical freak.
 

· *the drum drum*
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A steroid that adds significant mass to your frame would probably be bad for your joints, but likewise one that doesn't add significant mass but instead adds a lot of strength will almost certainly be good for your joints.

An inflamed joint would often be treated with a corticosteroid, also a "steroid", and in all likelihood Ronaldo had a few jabs in his knee as part of his post-operative rehabilitation.

But all that said, I don't think there is anything out of the ordinary with Ronaldo's physique - he could easily have added a few kilos to his frame when he moved to Holland simply because (1) he was very young and (2) he probably only really started doing proper and consistent weight training when he moved there.
 

· *the drum drum*
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**** knows why, but I went to find a picture of Ronaldo's physique to post here and this is what I found. Apparently from 2007 when he joined AC Milan.

This is not the body you normally associate with cast iron proof of steroid (ab)use.

Cheek Chin Arm Shoulder Muscle
 
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