Ronaldo Voted 'The Best Player of All Time' by Irish Football Fans
Clinching top spot by the narrowest of margins, Irish football fans voted Cristiano Ronaldo as the best footballer of all time according to new research commissioned by Ladbrokes.
The Portuguese star received 29% of the vote, with Pelé in a very close second (28%), Ronaldo’s arch nemesis Messi came in third place (26%), with Maradona receiving 18%.
5% of Irish fans are supporting Portugal (joint 3rd highest, behind our closest neighbours England and Wales) however, the main reason for Irish fans supporting Portugal was “my favourite Premier League player plays on the team” at 48%. This compares to Argentina (27%), England (25%) and Wales (0%) for the same reason.
Irish fans also voted Ronaldo’s wink to the Portuguese bench after Wayne Rooney received a red card in 2006 as their third most popular iconic World Cup Moment (11%), coming in behind Zidane’s reckless headbutt in the World Cup Final in the same year (12%) and Maradona’s Hand of God goal at a massive 51%.
Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said, “The research was carried out before Ronaldo’s explosive Piers Morgan interview, therefore we can only imagine what the real percentage is now. Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot in their first group game, he’s 5/2 to hit the back of the net first v Uruguay.”
(Empathy Research surveyed 1000 Irish football fans, commissioned by Ladbrokes)
*With Ireland not at the World Cup, which country will you be supporting?
39% I won’t be supporting any of them
*Reasons for supporting Portugal at the World Cup
48% My favourite Premier League player plays on the team
5% I am originally from that country
31% I really like that country
12% Just jumping on the bandwagon
*Best footballer of all time
29% Cristiano Ronaldo
26% Lionel Messi
18% Diego Maradona
*Most iconic World Cup moments
51% Maradona's Hand of God goal against England in 1986
12% Zidane's straight red card in the 2006 World Cup final
11% Ronaldo winking after Wayne Rooney received a red card in 2006
8% David Beckham's getting sent off v Diego Simeone in World Cup 1998
7% World Cup, Baden Baden, Germany 2006 - 'Queen Wags' Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole receiving more media coverage for their fashion in the stands than the performance of the England players on the pitch
7% Mario Gotze's 113th minute World Cup winning goal in 2014 for Germany
5% Paul Gascoigne's tears after receiving a booking in the World Cup semi-final in 1990
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Slán go fóill.