Ronnie O'Sullivan names two snooker icons better than himself amid World Championship mission - 'I don't'

Ronnie O'Sullivan names two snooker icons better than himself amid World Championship mission - 'I don't'

WATCH NOW: Ronnie O'Sullivan wins the Masters

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 25/04/2024

- 10:53

The Rocket is hoping to win the prestigious prize for a eighth time

Ronnie O'Sullivan insists he isn't the best snooker player ever - with the Rocket believing Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis are up there as the greatest to ever grace the sport.

The 48-year-old will look to close his match with Jackson Page on Thursday, having opened up a 8-1 lead over his opponent.

O'Sullivan is looking to win the World Snooker Championship for the eighth time after previous triumphs in 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2020 and 2022.

Victory at the Crucible would only boost his reputation in the sport.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan has opened up on the GOAT debate in snooker as he eyes a eighth World Championship triumph


But O'Sullivan insists he isn't the greatest snooker player ever, though does believe he's 'one of them'.

"I don’t regard myself as the greatest. I’m one of them, maybe," he told the BBC.

"You’ve got [Stephen] Hendry, [Steve] Davis, and my hat’s in the ring with them. I’ve had a different career to them.

"They did it over a ten-year period, whereas I’ve sort of gone off track, got myself together, back off track, then got myself back together.

"I’ve had to go on longer to get what I’ve got.

"I was a bit all over the show at times with stuff going on off the table and that can affect how you perform on it.

"Hendry and Davis pretty much had everything fitted around them to be focused on snooker and I didn’t have that."

O'Sullivan's dominance of snooker has been spread across a longer period than his rivals.

Davis won six world titles during the 1980s, with Hendry achieving most of his success in the 90s.

And O'Sullivan insists longevity shouldn't come into the GOAT [greatest of all time] debate.

"As a kid I would have been desperate to be up there with those guys," he said.

"But when you get there you see it as a bit of an anti-climax and it’s not as great as you thought it would be.

"I love playing.

"I get to travel pretty much wherever I want to go to play snooker and take time off when I want to.

"I’m my own boss, and they’re the most important things.


Steve Davis Stephen Hendry

Ronnie O'Sullivan has lavished praise on snooker icons Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry


"You want to win because competitiveness has been in me. I have to have that approach no matter what.

"Whether that makes me the greatest or not, I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter."

Speaking before his clash with Page, meanwhile, O'Sullivan also revealed he'd eyed a career in F1 before ultimately changing sports.

Jackson Page

Ronnie O'Sullivan is set to close out his match with Jackson Page later today


“I’d probably be challenging Lewis Hamilton, round a Formula 1 track, probably give him a good run for his money as well - because I’m a bit nifty in a car," he revealed.

"I think I was actually gifted to be a good driver.

"I’d have definitely been a world champion at some sort of motorsport. I’ve no doubt about that.”

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