Gary Lineker labels Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘snooker GOAT’ over Stephen Hendry after title No 7

Ronnie O'Sullivan explains why he made a 146 in 2016

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Gary Lineker has labelled Ronnie O’Sullivan the “greatest of all time” after he beat Judd Trump in the World Snooker Championship final at the Crucible on Monday.

‘The Rocket’ beat the Bristol-born star 18-13 in a thoroughly professional performance, and only trailed for the first frame after a superb first session. He has now matched Stephen Hendry’s record of seven titles throughout his career with the triumph and could improve upon that in next year’s edition.

But regardless of their shared record, Lineker has labelled O’Sullivan the better player by calling him the ‘GOAT’ after the win. “Congratulations to @ronnieo147 on becoming world champion again and equalling the great @SHendry775 on 7 titles,” Lineker tweeted.

“What a performance. What a player. What a man… make that, what a GOAT.” The result means O’Sullivan is the oldest ever player to win a World Championship at 46, beating Ray Reardon’s record from 1978 when he was 45.

Fans were unsure as to whether Ronnie would try to smash the record next year given he told reporters he needed a ‘detox’ after his win. But those rumours were misplaced as he admitted he could be tempted into competing in next year’s tournament.

“We can share it for a year,” O’Sullivan joked to the BBC about him and Hendry sharing the record. “I tried to be as relaxed as I could, but that is probably the greatest result I’ve had against somebody like Judd [Trump].

“I’ve never bothered about records. When you get them, it’s kind of nice. I don’t have targets. I’ve loved every tournament this year, I’ve just loved playing.

“I like to win, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. The Crucible brings out the worst in me. It’s probably not the best idea but we’ll probably go again next year.”

The Wordsley-born star has now won seven of his eight finals in the World Championship. And he could kick himself over his loss to Mark Selby in 2014 if the record can not be broken.

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