Footage of French defenders discussing how to stop R9 resurfaces

Footage has resurfaced of France legends Lillian Thuram and Marcel Desailly discussing how they defended against Ronaldo – and it’s a fascinating watch.

Ronaldo, of course, struck fear into defences for many years at both club and international level.

He is regarded as one of football’s greatest ever strikers, and won the World Cup with Brazil and two Ballon D’Or’s. Had it not been for two serious knee injuries in what was arguably his prime at Inter Milan, those numbers could have been even higher.

And he could dominate even the best defenders. Thuram and Desailly are two of the greatest defenders of their generation, and both started in the 1998 World Cup final, which France won.

But even they had difficulties facing up against Ronaldo, as they explain in the video, which appears to have been taken from a France training session.

Speaking about Ronaldo’s dribbling and his changes of direction, Desailly said: “He did it to me at Milan, I didn’t see the ball.

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“Whether he goes right or left, you don’t see the ball.”

After simulating Ronaldo’s laser-sharp movements, he adds: “Where’s the ball? It’s magic.”

Thuram says: “He stays there like that, you look down and the ball’s gone.

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“The first thing is, don’t get right on him. Don’t get too close.

“You know what he does? He uses you. He waits. And as he’s big he can turn.

“So what you do is stop him turning. When he turns he’s dangerous.”

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Desailly then cuts in: “Tackle him if someone’s behind you, or be ready to take off in the opposite direction.”

Check out the full video – including the French players’ improvisations – below:

Featured Image Credit: Getty

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