John Virgo believes Ronnie O’Sullivan is the greatest sportsman Britain has ever produced — even though he says the six-time world champion has underachieved during his near three decades as a professional.
O’Sullivan has won 37 ranking titles since turning pro in 1992, and claimed his sixth World Championship title last year when he beat Kyren Wilson 18-8 in the final at the Crucible.
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The Rocket has also won seven UK Championships and is still ranked third in the world despite being less than three months short of his 46th birthday.
Virgo has watched O’Sullivan’s career up close as both a player and a pundit, and he has no doubt he is the best he has ever since. But, with his undoubted ability, the former Big Break host believes the Englishman could have won even more than he has done.
“Let me make one thing clear, Ronnie O’Sullivan is the greatest player I’ve ever seen," Virgo told the Talking Snooker podcast.
"I find it absolutely amazing. The fact he can do it with either hand just adds to the mystery of how a man can play the game this well.
Ronnie’s the best I’ve ever seen, it’s just incredible. I think if he’d maybe been a bit more level in his mind he’d have got up to maybe 10 world titles, I’m convinced of that.
Virgo was then asked whether he felt O'Sullivan has underachieved, and he replied: "You’d have to say that.

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"I do a lot of exhibitions with him, while he’s playing I commentate and I’m just gobsmacked by what he does on a snooker table, it is frightening.
"And Ronnie O’Sullivan is a lovely lad, make no mistake about that, he’s a lovely lad. Enjoy him while we’ve got him."
O'Sullivan turns 46 at the beginning of December, and Virgo urged snooker fans to enjoy his unique talents while they still can.
"With Ronnie, like with Alex [Higgins], when Alex was going downhill slightly you’ll not appreciate these people till they’re gone," Virgo said.
"Ronnie’s not going to last forever. He’s the best sportsman Britain has produced… when have we produced a better one? A more talented genius?
"We should enjoy this time he’s given us and this quality he’s given us. We should enjoy these talents."
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