The father of Pepe Reina has showered praise on the late Johan Cruyff, claiming that the Dutch legend boasted the best qualities of both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the field.
The football world was sent into mourning last week when Cruyff passed away after a battle with lung cancer.
According to Miguel Reina, goalkeeper with Atletico Madrid during his playing days, the player was a unique talent.
“In terms of his physique and power he would be Cristiano Ronaldo. In terms of his ability, creativity and artistry he would be Messi,” he told Goal.
“Cruyff combined both aspects of the game. Power, speed, he had an amazing change of rhythm, it looked like he was ambling along in fourth gear and suddenly he would go up to fifth and then sixth. At that time he was a one-off.
“He was unique. A unique figure and without a doubt a unique character.”
Reina suffered Cruyff’s talents first-hand with Atletico, when the Netherlands idol hit a stunning goal past him in 1973.
And the former shot-stopper admitted he felt privileged to be part of that moment, even if he was on the receiving end.
“I remember it with great happiness because he scored against me, only he could could have scored it,” Reina affirmed.
“After the game we chatted a while and I told him, ‘Flaco, were you not going for a cross’? With a smile he said to me ‘I don’t know, but it went in anyway’.
“‘In any case, only you could have scored from there’, I told him. History repeats itself in this case with Messi but at that time he was the only one.”
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