We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

Premier League

Rio Ferdinand: If you think Gareth Bale is as good as Cristiano Ronaldo, you 'don't know football'

Manchester United defender says it is too soon to compare the Tottenham winger to the world's best

Following his midweek double against West Ham, the comparisons between Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo have reached fever pitch, with many claiming the Tottenham winger is now a rival to the world's best players.

However, anyone agreeing with the comparison "doesn't know football" according to Rio Ferdinand.

The Manchester United defender, who was beaten for pace by Bale when the Welshman scored in the 3-2 win at Old Trafford last September, claims the 23-year-old has to deliver matchwinning displays over a longer period of time before being considered among the world’s best.

Bale is on a marvellous run of form for Tottenham, in which he has scored eight goals in his last six games including a spectacular late winner at Upton Park on Monday.

Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: “People mentioning Bale in the same breath as Cristiano + Messi really don’t know football! Bale has been 1 of best 2 in PL this year but he is not on CR7 + Messi’s level yet . . . he carries on doing what he is doing for 2/3yrs then there can be a debate.

“Bale showed me a clean pair of heels once this year so I’m in good position to judge! CR7 + Messi have been on another planet for 4-5yrs.”