Former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart has admitted he was surprised that former team-mate Gareth Bale joined European giants Real Madrid.
Speaking to FourFourTwo about the current Premier League season, van der Vaart told reporters that Bale is not on the same level of those he is often compared to.
“I never thought Bale would end up playing at Madrid,” Van der Vaart remarked.
Joining the North London club in 2010, the former Dutch international played alongside Bale under Harry Redknapp, enjoying great success in the Champions League, reaching the quarter-final stage.
The Ajax graduate has spoken before about his admiration of the Welsh star, although admits he has a long way to go before he reaches the level of the game’s two greats.
Van der Vaart continued: “Bale isn’t like [Cristiano] Ronaldo or [Lionel] Messi; that’s another level.”
Bale’s Wales face Van Der Vaart’s homeland Holland this Friday in an international friendly.