Cristiano Ronaldo is “not the best in the world”, according to former Ballon d’Or winner George Weah, but the Portuguese is considered to be an inspiration to others, just like evergreen AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Two experienced frontmen are going head-to-head in a Serie A title tussle this season, with reigning champions from Turin starting to lose their grip on the crown.
Andrea Pirlo has endured difficulties in his debut campaign as a coach, with even the presence of Ronaldo not enough to help Juve remain ahead of the chasing pack.
Milan have moved to the top of the table, closely followed by arch-rivals Inter, with 39-year-old frontman Ibrahimovic leading a charge at San Siro.
Rossoneri legend Weah is a big fan of the enigmatic Swede, and five-time Golden Ball winner Ronaldo, and believes the longevity of both means they can remain at the top for some time yet.
“Ibra is strong and confident, but there is more behind this,” Weah told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Milan signed him because he can be very useful for young players. He is an example and an inspiration for them.
“He is always focused and he gives everything for his passion. If you work hard and don’t lose your passion, then age is just a number. Think about Pietro Vierchowod, Franco Baresi or Paolo Maldini, they all played at high level until almost 40 years of age.
“Ronaldo is also testimony to how combining hard work and passion can bring unexpected results.
“He is not the best in the world, but he trained so much to become the best. I am a fan of Ronaldo because he remained humble and he earned everything he achieved. He fought to get where he is now.”
Ronaldo and Juve have slipped to fifth in the Italian top-flight, 10 points adrift of Milan while boasting a game in hand on the leaders.
Weah believes the Scudetto will still end up at the Allianz Stadium, with it far too early to be writing off Pirlo’s men as they chase down a 10th successive crown.
A man who won two Serie A titles during his time with Milan added on backing Juve in a battle for domestic supremacy: “First of all, because I supported the Bianconeri as a child, secondly because they’ve won the Scudetto for the last nine years in a row.
“I used to watch Serie A and French football in Africa, they were showing the images of Michel Platini and I got attached to Juventus.
“Then my life brought me to Milan where I found a family and a special environment. Milan gave me everything, but I kept supporting Juve.”