As someone who featured alongside Luís Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo during an international career spanning 15 years, Nuno Gomes is suitably qualified to compare two of Portugal's greatest footballers. "Both are tremendous players with great skills, though each has his own way," said Gomes, a scorer of 29 goals in 79 outings for his country between 1996 and 2011.
Gomes's spell in the Portugal setup coincided with the end of Figo's, in 2006, and the beginning of Ronaldo's three years earlier. While Figo – ambassador for this season's UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon – amassed a national record 127 caps, Ronaldo is the Seleção das Quinas's 49-goal all-time leading marksman, having overtaken Pauleta's mark in March.
"Figo during his time was the best and Cristiano is the best at the moment," former SL Benfica forward Gomes told UEFA.com. "Maybe Cristiano scores more goals than Figo did because he can play not only as a winger but as a forward, whereas Figo was more of a winger but was rapid. Figo had more brains but Cristiano has more power."
Gomes will be an interested observer when UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying begins in September. Portugal are in Group I with Denmark – against whom the 37-year-old made his final international appearance – Serbia, Armenia and Albania.
"Denmark have been involved in some battles with us in the last few years and some tough qualifying games [they met en route to UEFA EURO 2012 and at the subsequent finals in Ukraine] so it will definitely be a tough one," said Gomes, who also played for Boavista FC, ACF Fiorentina, SC Braga and Blackburn Rovers FC.
"In Portugal we have a lot of Serbian players [including four on the books of Benfica] who are proving they could form a very good national team in the future. It could be a worse group but it is certainly not an easy one. There will be some tough games."
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