Ferdinand: Bale needs more time to reach Messi, Ronaldo's level
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has claimed Tottenham Hotspurs winger Gareth Bale isn't in the same league as Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi yet, adding the Welsh international would have to consistently perform for next few years to prove himself.
Ferdinand said on Twitter anyone who compares the 23-year-old Welsh winger to Messi or Ronaldo doesn't know football, the Telegraph reports.
Bale's recent run of eight goals in his last six appearances has intensified speculation that Europe's biggest clubs will make a move for the Welshman in the summer.
Even Ramon Calderon, Real Madrid president from 2006 to 2009, suggested that the club would be prepared to match whatever price tag Tottenham put on the player, as they did with the 80 million pound paid to United for Ronaldo in 2009.
Former Spurs great Ricky Villa weighed into the debate last week saying you have to compare Bale with Messi or Ronaldo and players of that quality, however, Ferdinand believes such hype is premature.
Bale has scored 15 goals so far for Spurs this season in the Premier League, earning his side a remarkable 15 points.
Bale has had more shots on target (51) than both Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez, while his shooting accuracy of 57 per cent betters both the Dutchman and Uruguayan.
At the same stage in his career, 23-year-old Ronaldo won the Fifa Ballon d'Or after scoring 31 goals for United at a rate of one goal every 89 minutes, with a shooting accuracy of 59 per cent. (ANI)