Aston Villa academy graduate compared to former Manchester United icon Cristiano Ronaldo

Former Aston Villa midfielder Steven Davis has been likened to Cristiano Ronaldo.

The comparison was made by Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill, who hailed Davis as he closes in on becoming the nation’s record appearance holder.

Davis, who came through Villa’s academy and made over 100 appearances for the club, is set to earn his 113th international cap against Germany on Monday.

He is likely to eclipse the record of 119 – currently held by Pat Jennings – in the next year and O’Neill reckons Davis deserves to be compared to Portugal stalwart Ronaldo.

“I think it’s a great achievement,” O’Neill told reporters about the Northern Ireland captain, who plays for Rangers. “He pestered me all week to get five minutes against Luxembourg, and I eventually wilted under the pressure.

“Last night I was watching Cristiano Ronaldo play at 34 years of age for his country and what it means to him, and that’s why international football is so special.

“Steven deserves to be talked about in that breath because I believe he will go on and break Pat Jennings’ record.

“Any player who amasses over a hundred caps at international level, that has played and been available for as long as Steven for every game barring a few that he’s missed through injury, is a fantastic role model for all international footballers.

“He is still as effective at this level as he was when I took the job seven years ago. He’s had a magnificent career at both club and international level. When he ever does hang up his boots, which hopefully will be after I’ve left this job, he will rightly be remembered as one of the greatest players we’ve ever had.”

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