Man United legend likens ‘ruthless’ Emile Smith Rowe to Cristiano Ronaldo

Gary Neville has compared Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Emile Smith Rowe, claiming that the Arsenal star is more ‘clinical and ruthless’ than =the superstar was at the same age.

The youngster has debatably been the Gunners best player so far this term, finding a new level of consistency which has attracted the attention of England boss Gareth Southgate.

The Three Lions manager isn’t alone in taking note of ESR’s impressive start to the campaign either however, with Neville moving to compare his rise to that of Ronaldo’s.

“Cristiano [Ronaldo] was the first person I ever heard to say he undoubtedly wanted to be the best player in the world,” Neville told Sky Sports(via the Metro).

“It’s quite unusual to hear a player [say that] because everybody talks about the team and the collective. To hear Mo Salah say it is refreshing.

“I think you can say these things when you are delivering, and these two have delivered now consistently.

“Ronaldo now for 10, 15 years and Mo Salah for five, six years, and beyond. They are absolutely deadly. They are ruthless and clinical.

“Everything that Smith Rowe [wants to be], he’s a beautiful footballer Smith Rowe, and he’s got a long way to go in his career. Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t as clinical and ruthless at that age.

“But that’s where he has got to get to. To the point where by every single game, they want to be the best. They want to score the winner. They believe they are going to score the winner. Confidence is unbelievable.”

I previously stated that both Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have the potential to be amongst the world’s best, while the latter is soaking up the most attention, the former has been allowed to continue to grow almost in the shadow of his rival, but Emile has been the better of the two so far this season.

We shouldn’t be comparing the two however, and thankfully they are both on the same side, but I’m glad that Smith Rowe is finally being recognised for the true talent that he has, and for what he is bringing on a consistent basis.

We are blessed not only by the best of the next generation, but both have expressed their desire to stay at the club in the long-term, and this should bring hope for the coming years, as building a team around this duo will be the making of a title winning side in the coming years.

I recall Ronaldo arriving at Man United with a limited goal contribution tally, before his career sky-rocketed, and while Neville surely isn’t expecting ESR to hit the same kind of goalscoring output, his drive and ability to get forward can only be a huge asset for Arsenal.

Can you get any better praise from a former rival?


Tags Emile Smith Rowe Gary Neville


  1. A stupide and over the top hype!!!! English players are often overrated ….ESR is a good young player who needs to work as CR7 did back to his early days in England…And he’s not the same kind of player as CR7,ESR is more of a Scholes type of midfielder…If he is willing to work hard

  2. absolutely ludicrous comparison…we should be discouraging any sort of nonsense like this as we’ve already seen how quickly things can go sideways when one starts to read their own headlines…ESR is a talented prospect with an incredibly up-side if he continues to stay healthy and evolve as a player full-stop

  3. These are the types of overhype that have destroyed the careers of many young English talents. Smith Rowe and Ronaldo in the same sentence. Absolute nonsense

  4. Typical man u stunts, trying hard to shift the pressure or attention from their own Sancho who was also compared to Ronaldo…
    No thanks

    1. Gary neville should not get into smith’s head. He is a young player who still has a long way to go and talks like these can make one become complacent.

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