Is Rio Ferdinand right about Gareth Bale?

The Tottenham winger has been compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. We take a look at the stats to find out if he's worthy

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The Independent Football

Gareth Bale continued his red-hot form by scoring twice in Monday's derby win over West Ham - including a sensational last-minute winner.

It took his overall tally for the season to 19, beating his previous record by seven - and led some to draw comparisons with the likes of La Liga superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

But Rio Ferdinand was among the first to take to Twitter to question those who have placed Spurs' Welsh magician among the world's greats.

He tweeted: "People mentioning Bale in the same breath as Cristiano and Messi really don't know football! Bale been one of best 2 in PL this year but he is not on CR7 and Messi's level yet.

"If he carries on doing what he is doing for 2/3 years then there can be a debate. CR7 and Messi have been on another planet for 4 - 5 years. #consistent."

Bale lines up against Spurs' bitter rivals Arsenal in this Sunday's North London derby - a side he has netted against more times than any other team as a Tottenham player.

He has now scored 12 goals in his last 13 starts, a feat that has reportedly seen him attract interest from the likes of Real Madrid.

So, is Rio right? We look at how the Welsh ace's statistics compare with those of Ronaldo and Messi this season.



PL Appearances: 23

Goals: 15

Total Shots: 112

Shots to goals ratio: 13.3%

Assists: 1



La Liga Appearances: 24

Goals: 24

Total Shots: 170

Shots to goals ratio: 14.1%

Assists: 5



La Liga Appearances: 25

Goals: 38

Total Shots: 138

Shots to goals ratio: 27.5%

Assists: 9


The in-form Bale is hotly tipped to pick up the PFA Player of the Year Award, with some bookies making him the odds-on favourite ahead of Robin Van Persie and Luis Suarez.

But how does he compare with his Premier League and shortlisted rivals so far this season?



League Appearances: 23

Goals: 15

Total shots (not including blocked): 90

Minutes per goal: 134.93

Minutes per shot: 22.49

Shooting Accuracy: 57%

Chance Conversion: 17%



League Appearances: 27

Goals: 19

Total shots (not including blocked): 79

Minutes per goal: 113.53

Minutes per shot: 27.3

Shooting Accuracy: 54%

Chance Conversion: 24%



League Appearances: 26

Goals: 18

Total shots (not including blocked): 112

Minutes per goal: 129.17

Minutes per shot: 20.76

Shooting Accuracy: 45%

Chance Conversion: 16%