Cristiano Ronaldo

Antonio Conte unsurprised by 'decisive' Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick

Sean Walsh
Ronaldo was back in the lineup and back to his best
Ronaldo was back in the lineup and back to his best / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has hailed 'decisive' Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the greatest players of all time after his hat-trick helped Man Utd to a 3-2 win against the Italian's Spurs side.

Two first-half strikes saw Ronaldo overtake Josef Bican as the leading scorer in football history by FIFA's records, seeing United head into the break 2-1 up.

An own goal from Harry Maguire levelled proceedings after the interval, before Ronaldo secured a vital win in the race for the top four with a devastating header.

And Conte admitted post-game that Ronaldo's decisiveness makes him one of the best footballers of all time.

"We are talking about a player that not only tonight has shown to be a top, top player," Conte told Sky Sports.

"Don't forget that Cristiano and [Lionel] Messi are the two best players in the world in this era. Before it was Maradona and Pele, but in this era Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the best.

"You have to know very well that when you play against this type of player that they are decisive."

When speaking to the written press, Conte added: "It was an amazing performance from Cristiano. It's not a surprise for me. This player is decisive in the moment that the team needed him.

"I remember also in the Champions League group stages he was decisive. He's a player who feels the blood. Great credit to him to arrive at his age with his desire."