Ronnie O’Sullivan compared himself to a ‘fat Maradona’ despite completing a dazzling comeback to beat Mark Williams 13-10 and book his place in the World Championship semi-finals.
O’Sullivan was once again far from satisfied with his performance against his fellow former champion and claimed only natural talent – like that possessed by former Argentina superstar Diego Maradona – was sustaining his quest for a sixth career world title.
O’Sullivan said: “I’m not hard on myself, I’m a realist. I’m not doubting that I’ve got ability. What I’m good at I’m unbelievably good at: my scoring, my break building, my positional play.
“There will always be a little bit like… Maradona. You look at him now, he’s big and fat but you put a ball at his feet and the geezer’s unbelievable – but he’s not fit enough to play against guys who haven’t got as much talent as him.
“It’s a little bit like snooker. You’ve got to have the long game and the safety and the cue action, you’ve got to have the reliability.
“I don’t believe you can win it being good or rubbish, and I’ve been good or rubbish. I just need to be steady. Otherwise it’s like trying to win the US Open with a five-iron in my bag.”
O’Sullivan fired five centuries in the match as he hit back from 7-2 and 8-4 behind to book a potentially gruelling clash with Mark Selby in the last four.
He added: “I love Mark Selby, he’s my favourite guy on the circuit. He’s proper lovely guy, funny as hell, but as a snooker player he’s a beast and the ultimate test, and I’m going to have to draw on every bit of skill and experience that I’ve got.”