A FOOTBALL player compared to football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will not receive any compensation for a career-ending injury — despite surgery going wrong.

Sharu Naraji, aged 27, of Winslow Road, Bolton, sued an American sports injury specialist for at least £10 million, claiming that negligent surgery wrecked his career.

A High Court judge has ruled that the surgeon, Dr Donald Shelbourne, had performed negligently but Mr Naraji should not receive compensation because it was the injury itself that ended his career.

Mr Naraji and his advisors insist that is not the case and have now sought leave to go to the Court of Appeal.

His agent, Janine Anderson, said she expected the appeal hearing to begin next January.

She said: “Sharu had hopes of a glittering career in the Premier League and had years of football ahead of him until this surgery went wrong and his dreams were shattered.

“Now he is unemployed and has spent years fighting this case, incurring costs.

We believe he has been given a raw deal.”

Mr Naraji was born in England and grew up in Iran.

He played for Tehran club side Esteghlal and went on loan with Torino in Italy and Real Zaragoza in Spain before signing for Sheffield United in 2005.

The winger also played for the Iranian under-20s national team.

In September, 2006 — when Sheffield United were in the Premier League — Naraji ruptured a cruciate ligament in a knee in a reserve team match.

He had surgery in America and claims that he did not recover well enough to return to professional football as his knee was unstable.

The problem was never resolved and, in 2007, Sheffield United ended Mr Naraji’s contract.

One of those to give written evidence to the court about Mr Naraji’s ability on the pitch was former Sheffield Wednesday and Republic of Ireland full back Derek Geary.

He said: “Sharu was not a typical English player. His highly technical style was closer to what we have seen in this country from players like Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He liked to run at players and get at other teams’ defenders in the style of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Sharu was a complete player and enjoyed the ability to make things happen.”

Others to sing Mr Naraji’s praises were current Leeds United boss Neil Warnock and former Sheffield United captain Chris Morgan, who compared him with Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben.

Mick Jones, who was also on Warnock’s management team at Sheffield United, described Mr Naraji as a rare gem.