Snooker is quickly approaching a world where Ronnie O'Sullivan is no longer playing at the top level, something that is sure to cause a major headache for the authorities.
While he is still capable of winning the biggest prizes in the sport, the Englishman has been open about the fact that he no longer really has the drive that he once did. It is uncertain how much longer he will opt to continue in the game, something that would leave a massive vacuum in terms of star power in snooker.
O'Sullivan is probably the most thrilling player the sport has ever seen, but is he the best? He is certainly in the discussion, although his tally of six World Championship titles is still one short of Stephen Hendry's haul of seven.
Speaking to Eurosport, Ronnie O'Sullivan admitted that he doesn't feel qualified to say whether or not he is the greatest player in snooker history.
I do not regard myself as the greatest ever. I think Stephen Hendry had a really good answer: as long as my name is in the conversation, you have to let other people decide that. All I have done is try to win and compete and play the way I want to play.
I have played a brand of snooker that is very difficult to play as an individual sportsman. To play the way I play, it is not easy. Sometimes it is easier to win if you are more of a defensive, negative, counter-puncher sort of player.
I come out and I probably attack the balls more, which leaves you open to being picked off a little bit more. I just enjoy playing.
Jimmy White played that brand and maybe it cost him winning the World Championship. I was able to stay true to that style of snooker and still win it six times. It is not easy.
I was never big into records, but if people want to start talking about, 'is he a great, is he this...' I suppose you have to look at the record books and as far as World Championships, yes I am one behind Stephen Hendry. Not a bad place to be. I managed to do better in the other two majors and lots of other yardsticks if you want to throw them in as well.
Like I say, it is not really for me to decide, it is for other people. All I can do is go out and try to do my best.
O'Sullivan may not like to discuss this topic himself, but a huge proportion of snooker fans would have little hesitation in handing him that title.
You certainly could not argue that he wouldn't deserve it.
This post appeared first on Balls.ie.