Gareth Bale has named fellow countryman Ryan Giggs as the best footballer he has ever played with ahead of any of his Real Madrid teammates.
The 27-year-old played for the same Wales team as Giggs between 2006 and 2007, and has selected the Manchester United record appearance holder above current teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
"For me the greatest player is Ryan Giggs," Bale is quoted as saying in Marca.
"He was my hero growing up and is a legend in world football. It also helps he's a fellow Welshman."
Both Bale and Ronaldo are on the 23-man shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or award, which the Welsh forward described as a ‘great honour’.
"Being nominated for the Ballon d'Or is a great honour for me," Bale added.
"It is recognition of the hard work and dedication that I have put in all these years.
"Now I just have to keep working hard and improving. My focus is to win as many trophies as I can with my teams, both Wales and Real Madrid, and the individual prizes will come later."