I'm left-back Cristiano Ronaldo swapped wings to avoid – I've been called my country's greatest but I only got one cap | The Sun

FEW defenders have been able to contain Cristiano Ronaldo across his career, never mind force him to scurry away to the other wing.

But Royston Drenthe managed to do just that when he was playing as a full-back for Real Madrid.

The 36-year-old, who spent his career playing as a full-back and a winger on the left flank, announced his retirement from professional football last week.

And when appearing on Ziggo Sports alongside his former Real Madrid team-mate, Rafael van der Vaart, he was showered with compliments about his ability on the pitch.

Van der Vaart spoke about how impressed he used to be by the former Everton loanee when they played together in the Spanish capital over ten years ago.

He said: "He liked to play against Cristiano Ronaldo in training. He found that to be a challenge. He wondered: 'Cristiano? Who is that?'



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"Cristiano Ronaldo went crazy with him. He was fast, agile and technical. How was he going to pass you?

"At one point, Cristiano started running down the left wing because he no longer knew what to do with Drenthe."

The high praise didn't stop their either with Van der Vaart claiming that his compatriot is the best Dutch full-back of all time.

He said: "What seems a shame to me, and I have also said it to him, is that Royston is the best left-back the Netherlands has ever had.

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"If he had put aside his ego and his street football-style of playing, he would still have played as a left back for the Oranje until four years ago."

Unfortunately for Drenthe that's not how things panned out and he ultimately only ever got ten minutes of football for the national team.

And his club career failed to live up to the hype as well with tricky star playing for 15 clubs and failing to make a lasting impact on any of them.

His five-year spell at Real Madrid was broken up by a number of loan spells including a season with Everton in the Premier League.

He also wound up playing for Reading and Sheffield Wednesday later down the line.

And perhaps his unfulfilled career may have been as a result of his attitude at the time, with the Dutchman previously admitting he wasn't ready to be a footballer when his journey began.

Alongside his roller coaster life in football he has also tried his hand at being a rapper, actor, TV pundit, healthcare worker and fashion shopkeeper.

And in a shock moment he was also named a candidate to take over from Daniel Craig as James Bond thanks in part to his previous acting role in Dutch crime drama Mocro Maffia in 2021.

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