Chelsea legend John Terry took the stage to praise his old adversary Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking on beIN SPORTS, Terry purred over the Portugal international ahead of his fifth-World Cup bow last night.

Ronaldo captained his country in the final round of opening group game fixtures against Ghana.

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

His campaign just about kickstarted with a victory.

The 37-year-old’s nation narrowly defeated their African opponents 3-2, with all five goals converted in the second half.

Ronaldo’s World Cup record

Portugal’s skipper got the scoring underway with a penalty just after the hour mark.

Upon smashing his spot kick past the Ghana goalkeeper, he became the first player ever to score at five separate World Cups.

Andrew Ayew equalised a few minutes later, but Portugal responded rapidly with two goals inside two minutes.

Having initially been happily over the line, Fernando Santos’ side endured a nervy closing stages thanks to Osman Bukari’s strike in the 89th minute.

Despite an almost calamity error from Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa, Ronaldo’s compatriots managed to secure the three points.

Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

It might not have been vintage CR7, but he produced the goods when required.

As he has numerous times across his career, a trait that Terry dissected in his pre-match analysis of the former foe.

“Ash (Cole) would kick him, would be aggressive. You could hear them all game, arguing at each other. He wanted that battle. He loved that battle. Everything Ash tried, he responded. He’d go drifting to the other side for ten minutes and Ash was like: ‘do I stay, do I go over? I was told to man mark him, what do I do?’” said the Stamford Bridge icon.

“He just causes problems. All of sudden, he doesn’t get much joy out there, he takes it upon himself to go into the pocket for ten minutes and see what happens. Will the defenders come with me, will I create a bit of space?

“He’s so intelligent. He’s got absolutely everything.”

Terry talks up Ronaldo

Terry took on Ronaldo in some infamous battles over the years, for both club and country.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

At the time, the pair were bitter enemies.

Now, there is a clear respect between the two Premier League giants.

This admiration might increase further from Terry’s side if Ronaldo moves to South West London.

Ronaldo has been heavily linked with a transfer to Chelsea since Todd Boehly became the owner of the Blues.

Boehly is apparently a fan of the experienced attacker, and might make the most of his availability in January.

Manchester United axed their fabled number seven, following a major public falling out between the two parties.

Photo by James Gill/Getty Images

As free-agents go, there aren’t many more glamourous than Ronaldo.

But Chelsea don’t have time to dwell on the past; they must move forward with fresh ambitions to help Graham Potter improve the team.

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.