‘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.