Instead, the Real Madrid manager named former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba as his all time number one.
"I have had a lot of truly special players, but if I had to choose one I might go for Didier," the Portuguese boss said.
Mourinho was talking to Real Madrid TV at the time, a fact which either makes his judgement all the more uncomfortable for Ronaldo or all the more understandable from a coach who has been dogged by rumours of dressing room unrest all season.
But Chelsea fans won't argue with Mourinho's choice: Drogba led the attack for Mourinho during an amazing spell at the Blues which saw him collect five trophies in three seasons.
"As a player he is out of this world. I would like to have him by my side, so just imagine."
Mourinho's comments were actually prompted by press reports that he had criticised Drogba following his return to Europe with Galatasaray, who will face Real in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
And Mourinho sounded genuinely upset that anybody could call into question his esteem for the Ivory Coast hitman.
"Drogba knows who I am and what I feel in my heart for him, but maybe people could think they were true," Mourinho said.
"Picture this: I go to Turkey, I’m working, I watch the match, I head off before the end and then there are statements from me saying bad things about Drogba...
"It’s impossible that I would talk bad about Drogba. There is no problem because he knows that the last thing I would do is to say anything negative about my relationship with him."
- Sports & Recreation
- Didier Drogba