John Terry believes the momentum is with Chelsea ahead of a potential hat-trick of showdowns against Manchester United. Yet, at a time when Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho might be shaping up for an exchange of mind games, the England captain is making no secret of his deep admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo.

“For me he is the best in the world at the moment,” said Terry. “How do I stop him? I pass him on to Ashley Cole.

“I totally admire the player after the stick he got,” he said. “He has done so well on and off the pitch and, honestly, I could watch Man United just to watch him. He does things with the ball you don’t see anyone else in the world doing. When he is at his best I don’t think there are many people who can stop him.

“When he runs at you with his tricks and his skills you don’t know which way he is going. If you double up on him he passes to [Wayne] Rooney and he does it. Where do you stop? You can’t double up on everyone. It’s a case of us defending very well.”

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