Former Ballon d'Or winner and Spanish great Luis Suarez has given his thoughts on Tottenham's Gareth Bale.
One man’s fact is another man’s fallacy; but when Spanish legend Luis Suarez suggested that Gareth Bale was currently behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – or at least that he was the third “most interesting” player out there – he backed it up with such common sense that it was hard to disagree.
The truth is this season has seen the birth of Bale. Where before he was a good player, now he is a great one; where before he was blighted by injuries, now he is an almost ever-present.
And most importantly, what were once glimpses of brilliance are now an everyday occurrence. Bale has always had talent; now he has the confidence that whatever he tries will come off…and it almost always does.
The name Luis Suarez may invariably point to one man for fans of the Premier League, but the Suarez in question is the only Spanish player to win the Ballon d’Or, a man who has previously managed both Inter Milan and the Spanish national side, and a man who in his current capacity as presidential advisor at Inter saw first-hand what Bale can do at the highest level.
Many point to Bale’s San Siro hat-trick in 2010 as the moment the world took notice. But it is only this season that his sporadic brilliance has been replaced by consistency.
Suarez saw on that night what the Welshman was capable of. Three years later, he has told Spanish newspaper Marca that Bale is worth more than Brazilian wunderkind Neymar. And that should the Spurs forward find his way to Real Madrid he would form a formidable attack with Ronaldo.
“The two of them together could tear defences to pieces,” he said.
And so while many wait for the almost inevitable arrival of Neymar at Barcelona to form a devastating partnership with Messi, it is their great rivals Real who could be plotting a duo every bit as effective.
Of course hypothesis must be twinned with a player’s intent to turn headlines into reality, but there seems little doubt that Bale will one day grace the biggest of stages.
Should Tottenham qualify for next season’s Champions League, there is no reason for the 23-year-old to leave these shores just yet.
The squad Andre Villas-Boas is putting together suggests a successful future, both short-term and long; although the need for at least one new striker has never been greater.
But should they not secure a top four place, or should a big enough offer come in, Daniel Levy – and the player – will have a decision to make.
Suarez concluded by valuing Bale at around €65million. He called it “crazy” money. But in the case of the Welshman, he had to admit it made sense.
What do you think the future holds for Gareth Bale? And how good can he ultimately be?
image: © Jan S0L0