'He had an ashtray balanced on his stomach' – Crouch recalls meeting Ronaldo in Ibiza

Former England international Peter Crouch will never forget his meeting with Brazil legend Ronaldo - even if the forward had no idea who he was! 

A two-time World Cup winner and favourite at the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan and Inter, O Fenomeno has a valid claim to be named one of the greatest players so far in the 21st century

Crouch, meanwhile, did not garner quite the same plaudits during his career, but nevertheless spent almost two decades in the English top flight as well as representing his nation on 42 occasions, scoring 22 goals. 

Famed not just for his unorthodox playing style but for his uniquely self-deprecating sense of humour, the gangly ex-striker admitted that his encounter with Ronaldo did not go quite as planned. 

"My ideal forward partner? My overwhelming choice would be the original Ronaldo. I'm not sure our styles would have matched each other, but 90 minutes with him would have made my life," Crouch revealed during a Q&A session hosted by the Daily Mail

"I met him once, actually. I was on holiday in Ibiza and I saw him on the beach. He was busy getting through bottles of beer and had an ashtray balanced on his stomach.

"Every time he finished his drink, the supermodel who was with him brought him another.

"The chance to have a picture with him was too good to turn down, so I went over. I hoped he was going to say: 'Oh, you're Crouch!' but he didn't have a clue who I was. The picture was taken and off I went with him oblivious to the fact I was footballer."

Crouch finally hung up his boots at the end of the 2018-19 season aged 38 after a spell with Burnley, having amassed more than 700 professional appearances for 11 clubs. 

He is still making friends thanks to his antics on social media, though, most recently when he revealed the special tool his children have devised in order to respect social distancing protocol during the coronavirus pandemic. 

"My kids have made a paddle to measure out two metres," he explained.

"They have stuck a mop and a brush together and then put a picture of my face on it. The motto is now: Stay a Crouch away."