Rio Ferdinand says people comparing Gareth Bale to Cristiano Ronaldo don't understand football. Who falls foul of his comments?
Gareth Bale is in the form of his life, but not everybody believes the praise he is getting is quite in the context it deserves to be.
A night after Bale struck two goals against West Ham, Cristiano bagged a brace of his own... away at Barcelona.
The link? Bale has been suggested as a target for Real Madrid... and has been endlessly compared to Ronaldo himself.
Now Ronaldo has bagged an incredible 39 goals this season already in all competitions for his club; Bale meanwhile has 19.
So this disparity prompted Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand to yesterday get something off his chest which had clearly been grating him; his belief Bale is some way off Ronaldo's level of performance.
People mentioning Bale in the same breath as @cristiano + Messi really don't know football! Bale been 1 of best 2 in PL this year but....— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) February 27, 2013
...He is not on CR7 + Messi's level yet...he carries on doing what he is doing for 2/3yrs then there can be a debate. Bale showed me a clean— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) February 27, 2013
Now ignoring the obvious temptation to let Rio know heels is spelt with two e's; the standout quote from the above mini-rant is that people mentioning Bale in the same breath as Ronaldo 'don't know football'.
So who falls foul of his comments? Here's a look:
Harry Redknapp: "He's an amazing talent and he's after the Ronaldos and Messis of this world and he's getting better and better."
Andre Villas-Boas: "You can see similarities in each of the players, both of them are extremely technical players, and extremely powerful and pacy.
"It's funny to see how both players compare. They grew up as strikers, but became wingers. Gareth was a left-back and moved to winger and now going to a more advanced role. Ronaldo is also able to play that role up front.
"Ronaldo is now 28, and has achieved so much in his career, he is an example to Gareth as to what he can achieve."
Jeff Stelling: "I think it’s got to the stage where you can say that Bale is better than Ronaldo because he’s simply unplayable."
Remi Garde, Lyon manager: "If you mean in the context of the way they take free-kicks, I think you could make a decent comparison."
Jamie Redknapp: "I'd put him up there with the Ronaldos and Messis of this world. There's no two ways about it, he's going to be anything he wants in the next few years."
Many forced to listen to Jamie Redknapp's Sky punditry may nod sagely with Rio's assertion he know's nothing about football. We wonder what his response to Rio's comments may be now he has been called out.
Where do you stand on the debate?
image: © willpalmer