Poyet: Bale a Balon d’Or candidate

Gus Poyet believes Gareth Bale is now a serious contender for the Balon d’Or award and is on a similar level with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Poyet was assistant to Juande Ramos at Tottenham Hotspur when Bale joined the North London side from Southampton in 2007, and he admits that whilst his massive potential was obvious it was at times hard to predict just how good the Welshman would become.

"For many years we have had the two -Messi, Ronaldo, or Ronaldo, Messi," the Uruguayan said ahead of his Betis side hosting Bale and Real Madrid.

"Now there are others coming up -Neymar, Luis Suarez, and it could be Bale too. If he keeps at this level, taking the responsibility and stepping up to decide games when he is needed, then we will be talking about a player who is up with the very best.

"He came from with great physical potential and could cover the whole wing – like a young Roberto Carlos.

"Juande Ramos tried to convince him to play further forward, but he wanted to be a full-back, with lots of space in front to break into.

"His last season in England was amazing. He was clearly player of the year that season. There was a very quick change in his game. He had a good shot, but not like now, and he was not such a good header of the ball.

"He had the physical qualities, but it was difficult to see he would develop like this. He has taken on the responsibility to feel important and play up front for Madrid."

Tags Gareth Bale Gus Poyet
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