Cristiano Ronaldo rates Gareth Bale as only the third best player at Real Madrid, it has been revealed.
The voting for the Fifa Ballon d'Or award, for which Ronaldo was eligible to participate in as captain of his national team, showed that the Portuguese forward selected Bale as his third pick. The Wales international was chosen behind Real Madrid team-mates Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez.
The relationship between Ronaldo and Bale has always generated interest, with the former regularly portrayed as desperate to remain above the former Tottenham player in the Real Madrid pecking order. Incidents of on-field frustration and tension between the forwards have only ever fuelled such talk.
Ronaldo's selection offers an insight into how he sees the hierarchy, with the three-time Ballon d'Or winner rating the man who usurped him as the world's most expensive player below Benzema and Rodriguez.
Ronaldo and Benzema both signed for Real Madrid in 2009 and have been scoring freely together ever since, whilst Rodriguez moved to the Bernabeu after the 2014 World Cup after impressing for Colombia.
Speculation over Bale's future at Real Madrid recently returned to the back pages following the dismissal of Rafa Benitez as manager of Real Madrid. Bale was a supporter of Benitez and was understood to have been disappointed that the former Liverpool coach's reign was so short. There is uncertainty over who new manager Zinedine Zidane favours among Real Madrid's attacking options, however Bale did score a hat-trick in the Frenchman's first match in charge.
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