Tag Archives: Wales

Former Tottenham Hotspur hero: ‘Gareth Bale isn’t on Ronaldo and Messi level’

Football - Tottenham Hotspur Training - Spurs Lodge - 24/8/11 Tottenham Hotspur's Rafael van der Vaart during training Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Jed Leicester LivepicFormer 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. 

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Mauricio Pochettino jokes Gareth Bale can “come back” to Tottenham

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has joked that Real Madrid superstar can return to Tottenham Hotspur as the club “have a place for him.”

Speaking about the troubled winger’s recent struggles on the pitch, the Spurs manager was happy to speculate that the Welshman could return to White Hart Lane.

Pochettino said: “If Bale is not comfortable in Madrid, we have a place for him here. If he wants to come back here we are open to signing him.”

The Spurs boss suggested that Bale’s situation will improve, even drawing comparison to the great Zinedine Zidane.

The Argentine said: “But seriously, it’s not easy when you go to a club like Real Madrid. Bale has the quality to have success.  [French great] Zinedine Zidane had a difficult time at first, when he moved to Madrid in 2001, and he was criticised – but he needed time to adapt.

“It’s easier when you come from Spain to England but maybe when you go to Spain as an English player, you need one or two seasons to adapt.” 

 

 

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