George Best v Cristiano Ronaldo: Man Utd wingers in quotes

George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo
George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo both won the European Cup in their years at United

Manchester United fans will mark the 10th anniversary of George Best's death with a special tribute during Wednesday night's Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven.

In the seventh minute of the match, fans will unveil a banner and turn on their mobile phone torches to light up Old Trafford in honour of the legendary number seven.

Best is widely regarded as one of United's best ever players and with rumours of a return of another former great in the shape of Cristiano Ronaldo, BBC Sport takes a look at how the two wingers compare in their own words.



"I think I've found you a genius" - telegram sent to Manchester United boss Matt Busby by talent scout Bob Bishop after watching 15-year-old Best playing for Cregagh Boys' Club.


Ronaldo moved from Sporting Lisbon to United for £12.26m within days of starring in a pre-season friendly game against Sir Alex Ferguson's team.

"He was up against John O'Shea. Sheasy ended up seeing the doctor at half-time because he was actually having dizzy spells," said former United captain Roy Keane.

Ferguson added: "'John O'Shea's ended up with a migraine,' I said. 'Get him signed.'"

Best v Ronaldo: Old Trafford careers compared
First Division x 2, European CupTrophiesPremier League x 4, FA Cup, Champions League, League Cup x 2
1968Ballon d'Or2008
14 Sept 1963 v West Brom Debut16 Aug 2003 v Bolton


Best's iconic goal against Sheff Utd

Best: "If I'd been born ugly, you'd never have heard of Pele."

Ronaldo: "Maybe they hate me because I'm too good."


Best: "I spent a lot of money on booze, women and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

Ronaldo: "I've never hidden that it's my intention to become the best".


Archive: Ronaldo refuses to rule out Man Utd return in 2015

Best: "They'll forget all the rubbish when I've gone and they'll remember the football. If only one person thinks I'm the best player in the world, that's good enough for me."

Ronaldo: "I don't need to say 'I'm in the history of football, I'm a legend'. The numbers say everything."

On critics

Best: "People always say I shouldn't be burning the candle at both ends. Maybe they haven't got a big enough candle."

Ronaldo: "People whistle me because I am good-looking, rich and a great footballer. They are jealous of me."

George Best
In 2004, Best was named in the Fifa 100 list of the world's greatest players, past and present

On other players

Best: "Pele said he thought I was the greatest ever player. I have always thought I was the best ever player - that's the way you have to look at it. I have never looked at another player and felt inferior."

Ronaldo: "It's opinions, I respect the opinions. Maybe in your opinion Messi is better than me, but in my mind I am better than him. So it's simple."

Best on Best

"I was born with a great gift, and sometimes with that comes a destructive streak. Just as I wanted to outdo everyone when I played, I had to outdo everyone when we were out on the town."

Ronaldo scored 42 goals as Manchester United won the Premier League and Champions League in 2008

Ronaldo on Ronaldo

"In my head I am the best."

Best on Ronaldo, Ronaldo on Best

Best: "There have been a few players described as the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it's been a compliment to me."

Ronaldo: "I would be very proud if, one day, I'm held in the same esteem as George Best or David Beckham. It's what I'm working hard towards."

What their managers said

Sir Matt Busby on Best: "He was able to use either foot - sometimes he seemed to have six.

"We had our problems with the wee fella, but I prefer to remember his genius."

Sir Alex Ferguson on Ronaldo: "Cristiano Ronaldo was the most gifted player I managed. He surpassed all the other great ones I coached at United. And I had many."

And finally...

Best: "If you'd given me the choice of going out and beating four men and smashing a goal in from 30 yards against Liverpool or going to bed with Miss World, it would have been a difficult choice. Luckily, I had both."