Ronaldo is not being shown enough respect, says former Real Madrid team-mate Ozil

Bongarts

Mesut Ozil described Cristiano Ronaldo as "one of the greatest athletes in sports history" and does not believe his former Real Madrid team-mate is being shown sufficient respect in the twilight of his career.

Free agent Ronaldo has fallen out of favour at club and now international level, having been named among the substitutes for Portugal's 6-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is also currently without a club after his contract with Manchester United, where he struggled for playing time, was terminated by mutual consent.

Ronaldo's replacement on Tuesday, Benfica youngster Goncalo Ramos, scored a hat-trick against Switzerland and is now set to keep his place for Saturday's quarter-final tie with Morocco.

Istanbul Basaksehir midfielder Ozil played alongside Ronaldo in the Spanish capital between 2010 and 2013, and has taken to social media to launch a robust defence of his former team-mate.

"I really don't get where this constant negativity from the press about Cristiano comes from," he wrote on Twitter.

"The media is just trying to get clicks, and pundits who don't have a career anymore just want to get attention with his big name and try to make him look bad.

"He is soon 38 years old - so what's the surprise that he doesn't score 50 goals a season anymore? Every football fan out there should be happy to have seen him playing world-class football for 20 years.

"I don't think anyone from the new generation will be able to match his numbers again. He will forever be in his own category. Everyone should show more respect to one of the greatest athletes in sports history."