Cristiano Ronaldo can already put his name alongside Alfredo Di Stefano’s at Real Madrid, according to Blancos defender Nacho Fernandez.
The Portuguese star will attempt to collect the fifth Champions League winners’ medal in his career and fourth with Madrid on Saturday against Liverpool in Kiev.
Ronaldo’s fifth European crown would put him level with the Argentine legend, who won five European Cup titles in a row with Madrid between 1955 and 1960.
Di Stefano is widely considered one of the greatest players in football history, and Nacho believes his team-mate is on equal footing with the Argentine great, who passed away in 2014.
“I do believe that Cristiano can already be equated with Di Stefano,” the Spain defender told Goal.
“Ronaldo has marked [himself as] a legend, he is a spectacular player with all the Ballons d’Or he won. When the years go by surely people will value things even more.”
The 33-year-old has collected five Ballons d’Or in comparison to Di Stefano’s two, though the award wasn’t handed out until 1956 – well into the Argentine’s glittering career.
With a win on Saturday Madrid will become the first team since Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976 to win three consecutive European titles.
Nacho was asked how this current era of Madrid will be remembered, with the Bayern team of the 1970s associated with the legendary Franz Beckenbauer and previous three-time champions Ajax (between 1971 and 1973) remembered as the side of Johan Cruyff.
The 28-year-old, however, chose his side’s manager, rather than a player, as Madrid’s standard-bearer.
“Well, if we focus in the last three [titles] … I would say the ‘[Zinedine] Zidane Real Madrid’ for sure.
“It is true that we also won one in 2014 with [Carlo] Ancelotti, which was very important. Surely that was the beginning of this era, with the players and the group that was created then.
“But Zidane is vital for us, for the club, and we are here thanks to him.”