Zidane or Ronaldo? Crouch ranks the game's greats - and have your say
'That Peter Crouch Podcast' is back and it starts with a bang as Crouchy is grilled by listeners on a range of topics, including whether ketchup should be kept in the fridge and memories from the stadium he hated playing at the most.
Series four, which launched on Wednesday, will bring you two episodes every week - one on Wednesdays and one on Fridays - all filmed from the homes of Crouch, Chris Stark and Tom Fordyce while the UK is in lockdown.
There will be a lot of football chat and insight, plus updates on Crouchy's hair and beard, which he "promises not to cut" while everyone is social distancing.
Every Wednesday episode will also include questions from listeners for the former England striker. Guests from the footballing world, as well as celebrity fans of the podcast, will be invited on to Friday's pod.
In the series opener, listener Alister asked Crouch to choose between some of football's very best creative talent.
Below is how he ranks some of the game's greats - before we give you the opportunity to have a go yourselves.
Question: Rate these five players in order from best to worst – Zinedine Zidane, ‘Fat’ Ronaldo (the Brazilian one), Ronaldinho, Paul Scholes and Xavi.
Crouch: “It’s a tough one, but I can do it.”
1. Ronaldo (Brazil)
Ronaldo was one of the greatest goalscorers of his generation and scored twice in the 2002 World Cup final as Brazil beat Germany 2-0. He also won the Golden Boot for being the tournament’s top scorer. His club career included prolific spells at PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. His moves from PSV to Barcelona and then from Barcelona to Inter were for fees which at the time were world-record transfers.
Chris Stark: “We shouldn’t call him Fat Ronaldo, this is what I’m learning. He has put on a bit of timber. However, I’ve made that mistake and one time I put out a tweet calling him Fat Ronaldo and Daniel Sturridge of all people stepped up out of nowhere and laid into me about it. Any footballer really hates that nickname for him as he was such a class player and it slightly degrades how good he was.”
Crouch: “He had a huge influence on so many footballers so to call him Fat Ronaldo doesn’t do him justice. It’s like saying the Fat Attenborough. You have to have respect, I don’t care if you’re talking footballers or acting or nature programmes.
“Have some respect. This is one of the best players who has ever graced the game and we shouldn't disrespect him with that nickname just because there’s another Ronaldo [Cristiano] who is on another planet as well. Brazilian Ronaldo was that good that he was slightly overweight and still banging in 30 goals for Real Madrid.
“I’m going to take you back to the Barcelona and PSV days, the early Real Madrid days, Inter Milan. I used to tape 90 minutes of football and watch every single minute and every touch Ronaldo had and watch him so closely. I used to love everything he did, the skills, the pace, what he did with a goalkeeper one-on-one - no-one has come close to that with two or three stepovers and to go around him at such pace and produce the goals he scored. He was incredible.
“The nickname 'El Fenomeno' makes perfect sense because he was phenomenal - he’s my number one."
2. Zinedine Zidane (France) and 3. Ronaldinho (Brazil)
Attacking midfielder Zidane played 108 times for France, helping them win the World Cup in 1998 (scoring twice in the final) and the European Championship two years later. However, his international career ended when he was sent off in the 2006 World Cup final as France lost to Italy. He won the Serie A title with Juventus and La Liga with Real Madrid. Zidane also helped Real win the Champions League in 2002, scoring a stunning volley in their 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho played in the 2002 World Cup final as Brazil beat Germany. During his time at Barcelona, Ronaldinho twice won La Liga and he also won the Champions League, before winning Serie A with AC Milan. He also helped Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro win their first Copa Libertadores – South America’s version of the Champions League.
Crouch: “This is tough for number two. I’m going to go for Zinedine Zidane over Ronaldinho. Zidane was the better player.
“On his day, there was no-one more entertaining than Ronaldinho. It was exhibition stuff and no-one knew what to do.”
4. Paul Scholes (England), 5. Xavi (Spain)
Scholes was one of England’s most technically-gifted midfielders and one of the finest players to have played in the Premier League. He played for Manchester United throughout his career and won the Premier League 11 times, the Champions League twice, the FA Cup three times and the League Cup twice.
Xavi, a deep lying midfielder, had an incredible career that saw him represent Spain 133 times, winning the World Cup once and European Championship twice. His European club career encompassed a fantastic period of success with Barcelona, including eight La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and both the Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup twice apiece.
Crouch: “Paul Scholes is number four and Xavi number five. It hurts a lot [putting Xavi last] as I’m talking an absolute world-class player but you have given me four better ones. I love people that get you off your seat and I would have Scholes ahead of Xavi as he would change games more.
“Xavi would dictate the pace of the play and his link-up was one of the world’s best in his position but Scholes could do anything – score goals with his head, score goals outside the box, ghost in and score and sit back deep and dictate play like Xavi did. Scholes had more strings to his bow than Xavi.
“I could do an hour on all this and I would like to accompany it with a Powerpoint and reasons behind my decisions and a few clips.
“But I tried to download Powerpoint and my Google Chrome is still not up to date. My little girl is learning about Powerpoint and making a presentation but I couldn’t even download it, never mind make one.”
Now you have seen what Crouchy says, but is he right? Put your five in order below.
Ranking some of the game's greats
Rank these five football greats from best to 'worst'