Is Gareth Bale as good as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?

 

In the 89th minute of Friday's World Cup qualifier against Scotland, Gareth Bale did something that stood the Wales winger apart.

The Tottenham player, drifting forward from the half-way line, unleashed a venomous shot from outside the box that flew into the top corner. Coupled with his earlier conversion of a penalty, Bale has single-handedly dragged his team from behind to beat Scotland 2-1.

It was not the first time Bale had been the talk of football - his hat-trick performance in 2010 against Inter Milan in the Champions League perhaps the most notable occasion up until last week.

Once again, there is talk he will be joining Barcelona or Real Madrid and that the possibilities ahead for the 23-year-old from Cardiff are limitless.

His international manager Chris Coleman says he is not only the best player in Wales (few would argue with that) but also the best British player.

"Anyone can see when he's got the ball he's devastating. He's a terrific player. His work-rate is excellent, he comes away with Wales and plays with passion and incredible ability. You'd be crazy to try and swap him.

"He's scored all our goals [in this campaign] so far and I know people are talking about him. He's a show-stopper and people pay money to come and watch him play."

While Coleman wouldn't swap him for Wayne Rooney, former Real Madrid striker Davor Suker has said that if Jose Mourinho wanted to swap one of his players out to accommodate the Welshman, Bale shouldn't hesitate.

"If he has the possibility to go to Madrid it would be his best move of his career," Suker said.

Should Bale leave White Hart Lane for the Santiago Bernabeu it would mean linking up with Cristiano Ronaldo, and according to Bale's former manager Harry Redknapp, it is the heights of the Portuguese No 7 and a certain Lionel Messi that the Spurs player is destined for.

"He's an amazing, amazing talent and he's after the Ronaldos and Messis of this world and he's getting better and better," Redknapp said ahead of Wales' World Cup qualifier against Croatia tonight.

"He's almost unplayable when he's on his game. He is a genuine world-class player.

"There's nobody he couldn't play for. He'd improve any team.

"He is already at the top but any team in the world would love to have Gareth Bale playing for them."

But where does Bale register against the two players widely considered the best on the planet? We take a look...

 

 

TROPHIES

Bale: None

Ronaldo: Premier League (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09), FA Cup (2003-04), League Cup (2005-06, 2008-09), Champions League (2007-08), Fifa Club World Cup (2008), La Liga (2011-12), Copa del Rey (2010-11)

Messi: La Liga (2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11), Copa del Rey (2008-09, 2011-12), Champions League (2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11), Uefa Super Cup (2009, 2011), Fifa Club World Cup (2009, 2011), Olympic Gold Medal with Argentina (2008)

 

PERSONAL HONOURS

Bale: PFA Player of the Year (2010/11)

Ronaldo: PFA Player of the Year (2006-07, 2007-08), PFA Young Player of the Year (2006-07), Football Writer's Footballer of the Year (2006-07), Barclays Player of the Year (2006-07, 2007-08), Ballon d'Or (2008), Fifa World Player of the Year (2008)

Messi: Ballon d'Or (2009), Fifa World Player of the Year (2009), Fifa Ballon d'Or (2010, 2011), La Liga Player of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011)



2012-13 GOALS/ASSISTS

Bale: 5 goals /1 assist (from 13 starts)

Ronaldo: 21/2 (from 25 starts)

Messi: 21/6 (from 16 starts)

 

2012-13 SHOTS TO GOALS RATIO

Bale: 8.8 shots per goal

Ronaldo: 8.52

Messi: 3.57

 

2011-12 GOALS/ASSISTS

Bale: 15/15 (from 47 starts)

Ronaldo: 70/16 (from 62 starts)

Messi: 75/27 (from 68 starts)

 

2011-12 SHOTS TO GOALS RATIO

Bale: 11.13

Ronaldo: 5.71

Messi: 4.02

 

2010-11 GOALS/ASSISTS

Bale: 12/3 (from 42 starts)

Ronaldo: 56/17 (from 59 starts)

Messi: 51/22 (from 54 starts)

 

2010-11 SHOTS TO GOALS RATIO

Bale: 7.16

Ronaldo: 6.39

Messi: 4.96

 

Additional research Saad Noor and Dave Rudge.

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Pepper, the 3ft 11in shiny box of circuits who can tell jokes and respond to human emotions
techDavid McNeill tests the mettle of one of the new generation of androids being developed in Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice