Watch: Ronnie O’Sullivan’s jaw-dropping interview where he says he would have to ‘lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50’
Five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan launched an extraordinary attack on the lack of talent coming through in the sport after his 13-10 victory over Ding Junhui at the Crucible.
The 44-year-old, who progressed through to the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championships for the first time since 2017, claimed he would have to ‘lose an arm and a leg’ to fall out of the top 50.
O’Sullivan will face fellow veteran Mark Williams in the last eight, a man he first faced way back in 1994.
And when asked whether he would have thought back then that more than a quarter of a century on he would still be coming up against Williams at the world championships, O’Sullivan pulled no punches in his response.
He said: "Probably not if you asked me then but when you look at the standard of play, I would say yes.
"People like me, John Higgins and Mark Williams, if you look at the younger players coming through, they are not that good really.
"Most of them would do well as half-decent amateurs, not even amateurs. They are so bad.
"A lot of them you see now, you look at them and think, 'I would have to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50'. That is why we are still hovering around, because of how poor it is down that end."
O’Sullivan and Williams are the only two players left in the tournament over the age of 40, with Kyren Wilson the youngest of the eight at 28 years old.