Ex-Spurs man has become world-class since leaving, says Stoke ace

Gareth Bale

Stoke City's Asmir Begovic believes that former Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale has become world-class since leaving.

Stoke City stopper Asmir Begovic says that former Tottenham Hotspur attacker Gareth Bale has become world-class since leaving.

Bale departed White Hart Lane to become the most expensive footballer in the history of the game in 2013, when he joined Real Madrid.

It is a move which Begovic feels has elevated Bale to new heights and the Potters ace paid tribute to Bale's ability today.

"I think he's grown a lot since he's gone to Real Madrid from his days at Spurs," Begovic said to the BBC.

"He's become a world class player, almost, now."

"So he's a huge threat, but it's a great challenge and something that we relish."

Begovic is preparing to take on Bale in international action at the weekend and he will have to be on top form to keep the Welshman off the scoresheet.

Wales take on Bosnia and Herzegovina in qualification for the European Championships in 2016 and it already looks a crucial tie.

Bosnia have emerged as one of the stronger European sides, and qualified for the World Cup last summer, but Bale and his national compatriots will be determined to pull off a victory which would put them in a commanding position. 

With three qualifying spots available in each-group Chris Coleman's men have a good chance of reaching the final stages of the international competition and Bale will be crucial to this success.

Since leaving Spurs, he has indeed become a world-star with his performances at Madrid being nothing short of spectacular.

Although Cristiano Ronaldo steals much of the acclaim in an attacking sense, Bale has still scored 19 times in 34 appearances for Los Blancos and played a vital role in Real winning their 10th Champions League title last season.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch